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CPP Online Handbook: Child Eligibility

Further Guidance on Eligibility Factors

Child Eligibility: Importance of Verifying Income

Each year CPP is asked to provide information to the Department of Human Services and the Governor’s Office, regarding how many children funded in CPP are eligible for free and reduced price meals.

This information on funding is then used to “draw down” additional Federal revenue to serve children and families, or it can be identified for the purpose of meeting the State’s Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements for Colorado’s Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) program.

When verifying children’s eligibility for free and reduced price meals, CPP coordinators should ensure that this information is also recorded in the school district’s October count.

Per CDE memo, all programs should collect Free and Reduced Meal eligibility data for each child, even if the child is not qualifying under this factor.

U.S. Citizenship

The Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe that local school districts cannot deny admission to students who are not legally admitted into the United States. The court noted that such actions would impose a “lifetime of hardship on a discrete class of children not accountable for their disabling status. The stigma of illiteracy will mark them for the rest of their lives. By denying these children a basic education, we deny them the ability to live within the structure of our civic institutions, and foreclose any realistic possibility that they will contribute in even the smallest way to the progress of our Nation(457 U.S. 202) (1982).”

As a result of this Supreme court decision and state statutory provisions, the Commissioner of Education has determined that students who are residents of a Colorado school district may not be denied admission to the public schools based on their lawful or unlawful immigration status.

“Determination of legality of a student’s immigration status is not a duty of the local school district nor is it necessary in determining the residency of a child. Undocumented children have the same right to attend public schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents. (Letter to Superintendents of Schools, Directors of BOCES, School Principals, and Other Interested Persons, January 1999).”

Homeless Children and CPP

According to the McKinney-Vento Act (PDF), a homeless individual is one who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence which includes children and families who:

  • Share housing with friends or other families due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Live in motels, hotels, or campgrounds because they have no permanent housing
  • Live in emergency or transitional shelters like safe houses
  • Live on the streets, in parks, in abandoned buildings or other accommodations unfit for habitation.

Address Confidentiality Program

You also may have families in need of confidential addresses. The Colorado Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) is a state program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking who fear for their safety. The ACP helps survivors keep their addresses confidential after they have relocated to escape possible or former abusers. The ACP is available to men, women and children. There are no financial eligibility requirements.

Back: How does a district advisory council determine eligibility?

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