McKinney-Vento Homeless Education
In the United States, 1.3 million children are homeless any given night. The average age of an individual who is homeless is nine years old. Families are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population.
The term "homeless children and youth" refers to individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This may include:
- Children living in hotels, motels, campgrounds, emergency or transitional shelters, automobiles, hospitals, etc.
- Children and youth who are sharing housing of other persons due to financial hardship or being displaced.
- Youth not in the physical custody of a parent/guarding, otherwise known as unaccompanied youth. Unaccompanied youth are defined as those young persons who have run away from home, been asked to leave their homes, and/or been abandoned by parents or guardians.
The 2015 reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a part of Every Student Succeeds Act legislation, mandates school districts to remove all barriers to the educational process for children experiencing homelessness. Title I and McKinney-Vento funding assist the district with coordinating resources to support students and families who are experiencing homelessness.
The following assistance is required under McKinney-Vento:
- School Selection: School districts must maintain enrollment for students who are in homeless situations in their school of origin unless it is against the wishes of the parents or guardians. Students may remain in their school of origin the entire time they are homeless and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing. The district will work with families on available transportation options.
- Enrollment: School districts must immediately enroll students who are in homeless situations, even if they do not have required documents, such as school records, medical records, proof of residency, or other mandatory documents.
- Free Lunch: Students who are experiencing homelessness automatically qualify for free lunch status. Immediate eligibility is granted-no formal application is necessary. Free lunch status may be initiated by contacting your child's school or Nutrition Services.
To support students and families experiencing homelessness, our district has a Homeless Education Liaison and Resource Facilitator. If you need assistance, please reach out to Rachel Evans at 531-299-6560.
Further information on the McKinney-Vento Act may be found on the National Center for Homeless Education website.