The McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. State educational agencies must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public school education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth.
Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal Mckinney-Vento Act if your family lives in any of the following situations:
- Are forced to share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons;
- Live in emergency or transitional shelter;
- In a motel, hotel, trailer park, or campground due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
- Children and youth who live in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; or
- Migratory children who are considered homeless when they are living in circumstances set forth in numbers 1, 2, or 3.
Eligible students have the right to:
- Receive free, appropriate education
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
- Enroll in local school, or continue attending their school of origin if that is their preference and is feasible
- Receive all the school services available to other students including transportation services, special education services (where applicable), and meals through the school nutrition program.
If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the local liaison to find out what services and supports may be available. There also may be supports for your pre-school children.