- Equal access to educational and other services
- Collaborative services for instructional support
- Information for parents regarding educational rights of homeless students
- Information regarding educational rights of homeless unaccompanied youth
- Immediate enrollment, child nutrition, and transportation services
- Identification and removal of barriers to enrollment, learning, and involvement
- Parental involvement opportunities
- Student advocacy
- Educational and special needs assessments with appropriate placement
- School social work, counseling, and nursing services
- Title I program support
- Community partnerships
Definition of McKinney-Vento Act:
Eligibility under McKinney-Vento:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Living in a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- Migratory children living in the above circumstances
- Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances
Homeless/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Rights:
- Enroll immediately, even if they do not have paperwork normally required for enrollment
- Attend either the local attendance area school or the school of origin, with the placement decision based on the student's best interest
- Remain in the school of origin for the duration of the homelessness or until the end of the school year in which the student becomes permanently housed
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin
- Receive educational services, such as free school meals, Title I services, participate in gifted and talented programs, vocational education, alternative education, and any other services comparable to what housed students receive
- Not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless
Provisions Specifically for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth:
- Unaccompanied homeless youth shall be immediately enrolled without proof of guardianship
- During a dispute over school selection or enrollment, unaccompanied homeless youth shall receive a written statement explaining the school's decision, the youth's right to appeal the decision, and a referral to the local liaison.
- Selecting a school of attendance and enrolling in school.
- Requesting transportation to and from the school of origin.
- Enrolling in school immediately while disputes are resolved.
Enrollment Q & A:
Must schools enroll students experiencing homelessness who do not have previous schools records?
Yes. Students experiencing homelessness must be enrolled in school while waiting for the previous school records to be received. Parents can request copies of critical documents such as Individualized Educational Program (IEPs), gifted testing records, and report cards from the student's previous school.
Schools must immediately enroll homeless children and youth, even when:
- School or health records are unavailable at the time of enrollment.
- Birth certificates are not available.
- Proof of residency is not available
Can a school require proof of residency (rent / lease agreement, utility receipt) that prevents or delays enrollment?
No. Students experiencing homelessness, by definition, lack a fixed residence and cannot be required to provide traditional proof of residency.
Must a school enroll children or youth without proof of immunizations or physicals?
Yes. The school must enroll students who do not have health records if they fall under the definition of homeless. The school should refer the family or youth to the school's social worker or Nancy Ross, LEA Liaison for McKinney-Vento, for assistance in obtaining the necessary documentation.
Attendance and Success
Students with appropriate support are more likely to attend school on a regular basis. Attendance is critical in realizing success in school.
- Homeless students must receive services comparable to those of housed students.
- Transportation to the school of origin must be provided, when appropriate.
- Homeless families and unaccompanied youth must be fully informed of available enrollment options and educational opportunities.
- Separate schools or programs for homeless children and youth are prohibited, with the exceptions of several programs specifically named in the McKinney-Vento Act.
Please direct all questions about eligibility and services to: