Education Rights of Homeless Students - McKinney-Vento ActWhat is McKinney-Vento?
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary federal (U.S) law dealing with the education of children and youth in homeless situations. The McKinney-Vento Act protects the right of homeless children and youth to get to, stay in, and be successful in school while they or their families are homeless. The law focuses on maintaining school stability and school access and providing support for academic success for homeless kids. The law also requires schools and states to use child-centered, best-interest decision making when working with homeless children and their families to choose a homeless child's school, services, and other needed resources.
Why do homeless children and youth need a federal law to protect their right to an education?
Homeless children and youth face lots of barriers in trying to enroll, remain, and be successful in school, including:
The McKinney-Vento Act's definition of who qualifies as a homeless child or youth is quite broad: "Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence," including, but not limited to:
No, the law does not specify an age range. McKinney-Vento applies to all school-aged children and youth.
What Do I Do If My School-aged Children Become Homeless?
Notify your child(ren)'s school as soon as you can and fill out the necessary form so that they can work with you to decide future educational services. Children who are experiencing homelessness are eligible for their school's nutrition program. Your local school can help to facilitate access to nutrition, transportation, and possible other resources. They will contact the OESU Homeless liaison on your behalf.
The Homeless Liaison for OESU is
the Assistant Director of Student Support Services
The goals of this legislation include:
Vermont Agency of Education link: