Who is Homeless?
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act states that homeless children and youth are those that lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence which includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.
- 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.
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.
School selection must be made according to the child’s or youth’s best interest. As changing schools significantly impedes students’ academic and social progress the McKinney-Vento act seeks, to the extent feasible, to keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the family or unaccompanied youth.
Homeless Students Have the Right to…
Immediate enrollment in school without proof of residency, birth certificate, proof of immunization, or other documents.
Attend school; homeless children and youth must be given access to the same public education provided to other students.
Continue attending the school in which they were enrolled when they became homeless, the school last attended, or the school closest to their temporary residence, if feasible and in the best interest of the child or youth.
Receive transportation to the school they attended before they became homeless.
Automatic enrollment in the free lunch program without proof of income or residency.
Automatic qualification for Title 1 services even in schools/grades in the district without Title 1.
Expedited assessments for services under LEP, Migrant, Title VII and IDEA.
Receive all school-based services for which they qualify.
Participate in all programs & activities offered to other students, including athletics, music, clubs and other extracurricular activities.
Have their parents participate in and attend school events and activities.
Challenge decisions on school selection made by schools/districts through the local dispute resolution process