Report 2019-104 Recommendation 14 Responses

Report 2019-104: Youth Experiencing Homelessness: California's Education System for K-12 Inadequately Identifies and Supports These Youth (Release Date: November 2019)

Recommendation #14 To: Gridley Unified School District

To comply with federal law and best practices, Gridley should, before academic year 2020-21, distribute information about the educational rights of youth experiencing homelessness in public places, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and food pantries frequented by families of such youth, as federal law requires. Further, to mitigate families' and youth's hesitance to disclosing their living situation the LEA should include the protections set forth in federal and state laws in the information it distributes.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2021

The Gridley Unified School District has revised our posters to reflect the educational rights and protections of youth experiencing homelessness. These assurances include a statement that information provided to the district from homeless families will not be shared. The posters have been distributed and posted at all district schools. The posters have also been put on bulletin boards at various location in the district, including the laundromat and the recreation department. The district will continue to seek additional locations to place the information.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented

1-Year Agency Response

Official California state McKinney-Vento posters in English and Spanish were acquired from the state M-V Coordinator office and then adapted to include our own local information for the county and local coordinators. Similar posters were created and distributed around town at likely venues we identified in the last school year, but new ones needed to be generated due to an official change this year in the local homeless liaison position. Sites where these were posted included laundromats, RV parks, a FEMA housing project, a city park with restrooms open 24 hours, and all school sites plus the district office.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending

Although the district provided support that it distributed posters to various locations, the posters it distributed do not include the protections set forth in federal and state laws. Until the posters include this information, we will continue to report this recommendation as not fully implemented.

6-Month Agency Response

Posters were completed, using the model provided by the CDE, in both English and Spanish, and posted at all school sites prior to the closure of schools in California in March 2020 due to COVID. Following health department and CDC as well as Gov. Newsom's executive orders, with the closure of so many public places, we were unable to complete distribution of the posters around town. When the shelter orders are lifted and employees can return to normal operations, we will complete and document the placement of posters in the indicated locations as noted in the audit findings.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

60-Day Agency Response

GUSD has acquired the CDE-approved M-V poster templates and modified them to include LEA-specific information, including contacts. Some of these have already been placed in the community at each school site, in English and Spanish. Auditors indicated to us in their recommendations in phone conversation that they considered the CDE-approved posters inadequate. We are awaiting guidance from the county office of education's M-V coordinator which has direct contact with the CDE office about whether a modified state poster will be available that fully implements the auditor's recommendation. If this is not forthcoming, GUSD Special Projects Coordinator and staff will develop its own posters before the end of the current school year and get them in place prior to the beginning of summer break.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

All Recommendations in 2019-104

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.