Homeless Education Services
September 24, 2017
- Kristin Arnold
- Homeless Education Liaison
The McKinney-Vento Act is designed to address the challenges that homeless children and youths have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school.
The term "homeless children and youths" means-
-individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
-children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
-are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
-are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
-children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
-children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
-migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.
The McKinney-Vento Act requires that:
-eligible children have the right to enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment;
-homeless students who move have the right to remain in their schools of origin (i.e., the school the student attended when permanently housed or in which the student was last enrolled, which includes preschools) if that is in the student's best interest;
-homeless students must have access to all programs and services for which they are eligible, including special education services, transportation, preschool, school nutrition programs, language assistance for English learners, career and technical education, gifted and talented programs, magnet schools, charter schools, summer learning, online learning, and before and after-school care;
-unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in school without proof of guardianship.