McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Background

The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) (McKinney-Vento Act). The McKinney-Vento Act was originally authorized in 1987 and most recently re-authorized in December 10th, 2016, by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under the McKinney-Vento Act, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youths. Homeless children and youths must have access to the educational and related services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging state academic standards to which we hold all students. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment.  The McKinney-Vento Act was created with the goal of ensuring the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school.

Children and youth experiencing homelessness find shelter in a variety of places. To help educators identify homeless children, the Act defines who is considered homeless. According to the U.S. Department of Education, people living in the following situations are considered homeless:

  • Doubled up with family or friends due to economic conditions
  • Living in motels and hotels for lack of other suitable housing
  • Runaway and "throwaway" children and youth
  • Homes for unwed or expectant mothers for lack of a place to live
  • Homeless and domestic violence shelters
  • Transitional housing programs
  • The streets
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Public places not meant for housing
  • Cars, trailers, and campgrounds
  • Awaiting foster care
  • Migratory children staying in housing not fit for habitation

Requirements for school

The McKinney-Vento Act provides certain rights for homeless students. They include waiving certain requirements such as proof of residency when students are enrolling and allowing categorical eligibility for certain services, such as free textbooks. The Act also states:

  • Homeless students may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing.
  • Schools must provide homeless students a written statement of their rights when they enroll and at least two times per year.
  • Homeless students may enroll without school, medical, or similar records.
  • Homeless students have a right to transportation to school.
  • Schools must provide students a statement explaining why they are denied any service or enrollment.
  • Students must receive services, such as transportation, while we settle disputes.
  • Students are automatically eligible for Title I services.
  • School districts must reserve a portion of Title IA funds to serve homeless students.
  • School districts must review and revise policies that provide barriers to homeless students.
  • Schools must post information in the community regarding the rights of homeless students, in schools, and other places that homeless families may frequent.
  • School districts must identify a McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist students.

McKinney-Vento Liaison Contact Information

Please direct questions or concerns regarding the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to the appropriate liaison.

Local Contact

Nicholas Flowers
McKinney-Vento Liaison
Decatur County Community Schools
2020 N. Montgomery Rd.
Greensburg, IN 47240
(812) 663-4595

State Contact

Gina Woodward
Homeless Education Specialist
Indiana Department of Education
(317) 232-9189

dCCS Notice of rights

Additional Resources

Indiana Department of Education

National Center for Homeless Education

  • National Center for Homeless Education operates the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program.

John Burton Advocates for Youth