The McKinney-Vento Act is designed to protect families whose living situation is no longer stable. This can mean homelessness, sharing housing with others due to economic hardship, domestic violence, or loss of housing, living in a hotel, shelter, substandard housing, transitional housing, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations, or similar settings.
The McKinney-Vento Act provides specific protections for children and youth, including unaccompanied youth, by ensuring immediate school enrollment, equal access, and school stability. Children and youth who are McKinney-Vento eligible have the right to remain in their school of origin (the school attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled) whenever possible and according to their best interest.
Under the Act, eligible students who lack records, including records normally required for enrollment such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, birth certificates, or other documents, are to be immediately enrolled and served. It is important that families contact the school district’s homeless liaison for more information about the rights of homeless students, school enrollment options, and the provision of student services as outlined in the McKinney-Vento Act.
Who is covered under the McKinney-Vento Act?
Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. This includes children and youth who are:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camp grounds due to the lack of alternate adequate accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Living in a primary night-time residence not used as a regular sleeping accommodation
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, inadequate housing, or similar settings
- Migratory children living in any of the circumstances described above
Educational Rights of homeless children and youth
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, eligible children and youth have the right to
- Continue attend their school where they were enrolled at their last permanent address if that is their preference and it is determined to be in the child’s best interest. (If the school district believes the school requested is not in the child’s best interest, then the district must provide a written explanation of its position and information on how to appeal its decision.)
- Receive transportation to go to the school the school of origin, if requested
- Enroll in and attend school without having a permanent address or available medical or educational records
- Enroll preschool children in district preschool programs
- Receive the same access to programs and services as all other children
- Receive information from the school for help in getting food, clothing, and school supplies
- Receive free lunch, school supplies, and Title 1 services
ACSD McKinney-Vento Liaison
For more information contact Nicole Carter, Director of Equity and Student Services, firstname.lastname@example.org, (802) 382-1278
National Center for Homeless Education: http://center.serve.org/nche
State of Vermont, Agency of Education: http://education.vermont.gov/student-support/federal-programs/homeless-education