The Federal McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Homeless Student Services) ensures education rights and protections for children and youth. The intent of the law is to make certain that eligible children and youth have the right to:
- Equal access to the same free, appropriate public education including a public preschool education
- Enroll in and attend school, participate fully in the school program, and have the opportunity to meet the same challenging academic achievement standards to which all students are held.
Definition of Homeless
The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement
- Children and youth 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 youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above
School Districts Responsibilities:
Local educational agencies (LEAs) must ensure that children and Youth experiencing homelessness are able to participate fully in school activities, and that barriers to identification, enrollment, and retention in school are identified and removed. The law requires every School District to designate an appropriate staff member as a liaison for students in homeless situations. These liaisons are required to ensure that the rights or homeless children and youths are protected.
For more information regarding the education of children and youths experiencing homelessness and for local health care services, including dental, mental health, substance abuse, and housing services, please review the Homeless Student Services link or contact our county Homeless Youth Liaisons for assistance.