Capsule: Education for Children and Youth
Who are in Transition and Homeless
A micro-version of requirements for providing education to children and youth who are homeless
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires state and local education agencies to build awareness of the needs of children and youth who are homeless. Public schools, including charter schools, must provide services that remove barriers to enrollment, attendance and educational success of the students. Each child’s needs are to be assessed for his/her unique situation. When reauthorized by Congress, the education section of the McKinney-Vento Act was tied to No Child Left Behind, Title I A programming and funds. See end of text for statutory definition of homelessness.
Schools need to:
I. Support Students who Lack a Fixed, Regular, Adequate Nighttime Residence. Be aware that students in these situations may be homeless:
1. School-age children and youth who are with their parents.
2. Youth on their own.
3. Children and youth in families who have lost their home due to a disaster.
4. Young siblings, newborn to age five.
5. Children and youth at risk for homelessness: highly mobile children and youth who have lived at three different addresses in one school year.
6. Pay special attention to children and youth who are not currently attending school.
II. Remove Barriers to Enrollment, Attendance, Success.
1. Designate a district homeless liaison and school point people. Use the expertise of the student support services team.
2. Identify policy and program barriers to student enrollment, attendance and success.
3. Build awareness among all school staff and parents; conduct outreach.
4. Link school and community efforts and resources.
III. Use a Child-Centered Approach to Identify Student Needs.
1. Transportation (Most excess transportation costs can be reimbursed by state funds.)
4. Supportive services
IV. Follow these Steps to Enroll Homeless Students and Provide Full Participation in Education Instruction, Support Services and All School Opportunities.
1. Determine eligibility.
2. Determine school selection based on the child’s best interest, to the extent feasible. If the parent disagrees with the school selection, provide information on the district’s conflict resolution process and the state McKinney-Vento dispute resolution process.
3. Immediately enroll the child in the school.
4. Flag the MARSS student record; the flag remains through the school year.
5. Determine education needs of the student; and, as eligible, expedite special education evaluation and enroll in English language learning and/or gifted and talented programs.
6. Provide instruction and support services to student per his/her plan.