What is a homeless education program? The Homeless Education program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC 11431 et seq.). The McKinney-Vento Act was enacted to address the numerous barriers homeless children face in obtaining a free, appropriate public education. The program was originally authorized in 1987 and, most recently, reauthorized as Title X, Part C of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
What does this mean? The Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness including the following:
- The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
- The right to attend school in his/her school of origin (if this is requested by the parent and is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing.
- The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if this is requested by the parent.
- The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
- The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student’s status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
- The posting of homeless students' rights in all schools and other places around the community.
So am I considered homeless or in a temporary living situation? In order to be eligible for services students must meet the definition of homelessness--The McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725) defines “homeless children and youth” As individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (doubling-up);
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds, cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
- Abandoned in hospitals;
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above; or
- Unaccompanied youth, including youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, such as runaways and youth denied housing by their families.
I think I am homeless, what do I do next? For more information regarding homeless education and services available in District #189, please call Nicole Young or Dr. Gholson.
Why should I tell you I am homeless? That’s private. The homeless liaison can assist you in getting your student enrolled in school and supported socially and emotionally--but confidentially. We can also assist with other resources, if possible.