The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youths as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
A regular residence is one that is used on a normal, standard, and consistent basis.
An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments.
This definition also includes:
- Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Children and youths who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, emergency or transitional shelters
- Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or
- Abandoned in hospitals or unaccompanied youth- not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian and meet the homeless definition
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above
Equitable Reminders in Serving Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Rights and Protections:
Children and youth experiencing homelessness are able to participate fully in school activities, and that barriers to identification, enrollment, and retention in school are identified and removed. Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:
- Immediate Enrollment: No matter the documentation.
- Transportation: LEAs should continue providing transportation support as needed to eliminate barriers to enrollment, participation and retention in school, including to pick up meals or distance learning items.
- Academic Access and Success: This includes free meals, and all other academic supports afforded to their housed peers and more.
- School Stability: If a student is homeless or becomes homeless during the school year, the student shall continue their education in their school of origin. The school of origin means the school the child who is experiencing homelessness attended when they were permanently housed. If the school the child experiencing homelessness attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the homeless child attended with which the child is connected and attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the LEA liaison, in consultation and agreement with the child and the person holding educational rights shall determine, in the best interests of the child, the school of origin. (EC Section 48852.7[f]).
- Please make sure to contact EUSD's homeless liaison if you have questions or need more information: Nelarie Romo (209) 838-3591