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McKinney-Vento (Homeless Program)

The McKinney‐Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • 1987  Stewart B. McKinney Act signed into law.  It required  states to review and revise residency requirements for  enrollment of homeless children and youth.
  • 1990  McKinney Act amended.
  • 1994  Education portion of McKinney Act included in  Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA).  Added preschool  services, greater parental input, and emphasis on services, greater parental input, and emphasis on inter-agency collaboration.
  • 2001‐2002  Reauthorization of the Act. Strengthened  requirements to provide access and success; required local  liaison in all LEAs.
  • 2016 (October) - All amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act take effect, except the deletion of “awaiting foster care placement” from the definition of “homeless children and youths.” ESSA §9105(b)(1)
  • 2016 (December) - “Awaiting foster care placement” is deleted from the definition of “homeless children and youths” in every state except AR, DE, and NV
Section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youths” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes—

  • Children and youths who are:
    • sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic
    • hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled-up”);
    • living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
    • 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 they are living in circumstances described
The Act applies to children and youth age 21* (until their 21st birthday) and under,  consistent with their eligibility consistent with their eligibility for public education services for public education services under state and federal law.

Students designated as homeless have the right to:
  • Be immediately enrolled in a school district eliminating delays caused by lack of records or other enrollment requirements.
    • If determined not homeless, then the applicant will be given written notification explaining the reason. The applicant can request due process.
  •  Continue in the school attended before becoming homeless or the school they last attended (i.e school of origin), if that is your choice and is feasible. If the student is sent to a school other than the school of origin, the LEA must provide the parent or guardian with a written notification/explanation of its decision and the right to appeal. 
  • Receive transportation to school of origin.
  • Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs.
Amber Cox
Local Contact: Homeless Coordinator/Liaison
(417) 723-5300