2019-104 Audit Scope and Objectives

Local Educational Agencies—Support of Students Experiencing Homelessness

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the California Department of Education (Education), one charter school, and a selection of three to five local educational agencies' (LEA) procedures to identify, provide services to, and support students who are experiencing homelessness in preschool and K-12 education (homeless youth). The audit's scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. For Education and the State Board of Education, determine the following:
    1. Their roles and responsibilities in administering the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act: Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program (McKinney-Vento Act).
    2. The guidance, if any, they provide to local education agencies concerning the McKinney-Vento Act.
    3. The steps these entities take to give support to and ensure compliance by LEAs that report no homeless youth among their students.
    4. The steps, if any, they take to collaborate with other state, local, and national entities that deal with homeless youth. Determine whether barriers exist to this collaboration and recommend solutions for how to remove them.
  3. Identify for the past three fiscal years the number of homeless youth identified at each of California's LEAs. Evaluate these data and determine whether factors such as student population, geographic area (including urban, suburban and rural areas), or other demographic factors affect LEAs' abilities to identify the number of homeless youth.
  4. For one charter school and a selection of three to five LEAs—one located in each a rural, urban, and suburban area, and at least one located in the San Francisco Bay Area and one located in San Bernardino County—that reported recently having zero or very few identified homeless youth, and one LEA that has been successful in identifying and serving a high number homeless youth determine and evaluate the following:
    1. The methods the LEAs and charter school use to identify homeless youth.
    2. The activities McKinney-Vento liaisons take to support the LEAs and charter school in identifying homeless youth.
    3. The support and technical assistance the LEAs and charter school receive from county offices of education and state entities.
    4. How the LEAs and charter school collaborate with other homeless service providers in identifying homeless youth.
    5. The barriers that exist to sharing data with other homeless service providers and possible solutions to these barriers.
    6. Whether the LEAs and charter school apply for and use federal grants to help with their effort to identify and serve homeless youth.
  5. To the extent possible, using information identified at the LEAs and the charter school, identify the following for LEAs:
    1. Trends and best practices in methods LEAs use to identify homeless youth.
    2. Trends and best practices in activities that McKinney-Vento liaisons take to support LEAs' efforts to identify homeless youth.
    3. Trends and best practices in support and technical assistance LEAs receive from county offices of education and state entities to identify homeless youth.
    4. Trends and best practices in how LEAs collaborate with other homeless service providers to identify homeless youth.
    5. Common barriers that exist to sharing data between LEAs and other homeless service providers and possible statewide solutions to these barriers.
  6. To the extent possible, identify national best practices for identifying and supporting homeless youth.
  7. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.

California State Auditor's Office
2/27/2019