LISD receives funds to help homeless students

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Families who require a little extra help can feel secure when it comes to their child’s education.

New funding has been approved for those who need it the most.

LISD says between 2021 to 2022, they reported 469 of their students as homeless but the district says they are getting a chance to secure their education.

During Tuesday’s special board meeting, LISD board members were presented with a new elementary and secondary school emergency relief or ESSER Funds of more than $400,000.

The grant is a three-year plan for students.

The liaison for the LISD Homeless program Yolanda Mendoza says they make sure the students stay in school.

Mendoza says one of the main components about the program would be the enrollment.

She adds, “If students are not able to, let’s say, to provide certain documentation, for whatever reason, let’s say they went through a house fire or things like that where they lost their documentation, it’s something that we can help them with. Then they get additional time to bring those documents, but they can already start participating in classes and all activities in the school.”

Another service the grant secures is paying tutors for small group instruction in schools and shelters.

LISD said homeless students are those who lack a permanent home, live in shelters, motels, parks, and even abandoned buildings.

Executive director for federal programs, school improvement and accountability Oralia Cortez says most of their students qualify as they live doubled up.

This means students whose family has lost their home or have had to move in with other family members.

Cortez said qualifying students for the homeless program keep those rights for the rest of the year even if their housing situation changes.

Cortez says, “They have that right throughout that year. They are coded for the remainder of the year even if they were coded in September, that coding remains until the end of the school year.”

LISD is also required to provide transportation to students enrolled in the program.

Even if students now live within the UISD boundaries, the districts work together to provide transportation to those students.

Mendoza says especially after covid students with high mobility started performing up to two grades below their own.

Board president Hector Garcia said principals who don’t respect the students’ right to keep their school of origin will be held liable.

Parents who wish to join the program can call the district or visit 1607 Victoria in downtown Laredo and learn more about the initiative.

The grant goes into effect starting September first until September of 2024.

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