Homeless Children and Youth

US Dept of Education
The McKinney-Vento Act
protects the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness. It provides grants and legal protections so children and youth in homeless situations can enroll in, attend, and succeed in school and preschool programs. Students in homeless situations have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.
  • Get help enrolling and succeeding in school from the school district's liaison for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Liaisons have a special responsibility to help youth who are on their own.
  • Stay in the school they went to before becoming homeless or whatever school they were enrolled in last, even if they move out of the district, if that is feasible. Students can stay in their school of origin the entire time they are homeless. Students can also finish the school year in the school if they find permanent housing during the year.
  • Get transportation to their school of origin, provided or arranged for by the school district, or a joint effort among school districts.
  • Go to the local school in the area where they are living. The school must immediately let students enroll, attend classes, and participate fully in school activities, even if students do not have a parent or guardian with them or documents such as proof of residency, immunization records, other medical records, school records, or other documents.
  • Get a written explanation from the school district if the district refuses to send students to the school they choose, and have the liaison settle such disagreements.
  • Have disagreements settled quickly and go to the school they choose while disagreements are settled.
  • Get preschool services, free or reduced school meals, services for English language learners, special education, Title I services, vocational education, gifted and talented services, and before- and after-school care, as needed.
  • Go to school with children who are not homeless. Students cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
  • Get information and referrals from liaisons, including information about all available educational programs and how parents can participate, public notice about their rights, and referrals to health, mental health, dental and other services.
  • Have the opportunity to meet the same high academic achievement standards as all students.

Click on these links for more information:

Who is considered homeless?
Q and As about homelessness
Resources for families

District McKinney-Vento Liaison:

Linda Howell
Coordinator, Student Information Services
585-349-5150

McKinney-Vento Information