McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act
Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, the term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
The intent of the services provided are to remove barriers to a homeless student’s ability to receive the same free, appropriate public education as is provided other students. It requires that homeless students be provided services comparable to those offered to housed students.
The education provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act, which are now incorporated within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ensure educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The law directly applies to homeless unaccompanied youth who also receive some special attention within the Act.
The Act’s Key Provisions
The McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725) specifies and protects the rights of children and youth in homeless situations.
Immediate Enrollment – The right to be enrolled immediately in school, without immunization or academic records, and birth certificate, regardless of district policy.
Transportation – Students in highly mobile or homeless situations are entitled to transportation to and from the school of origin, if it is feasible, in the student’s best interest, and requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.
Services- Students experiencing homelessness are entitled to the same programs and services that are available to other children in the District, such as gifted and talented education, special education, vocational education, English Language Learner services, and tutoring. Students are automatically eligible for Title I services and Districts must set aside funds as necessary to provide services.
Dispute Resolution- If problems arise between the school and parents or between districts, the parent shall be referred to the school’s homeless liaison. In the meantime, the student must remain in school and receive transportation.
Other Provisions Included
Lori Traynham, LISD Homeless Liaison, ensures the identification, school enrollment, and the provision of services and opportunities for academic success of students in homeless situations.
If any student or family feels that they are in a homeless situation, information about rights and services is available at each campus or they may contact Lori Traynham at 512-570-0310.