Homeless children and youth report that school is a home to them – a place where they see the same faces, sit in the same seat, and can put their hearts and minds into pursuits that ease their daily troubles. In school, students gain the skills and support needed to avoid poverty and homelessness as adults.

K-12 Education: The McKinney-Vento Act

Setting the Context

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in January 2002 as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth in homeless situations. Its key themes are school access and stability, support for educational success, and child-centered decision-making.

NAEHCY Resources

The McKinney-Vento Act and School Fees (September 2016)
This two-page brief provides specific legal references and practical considerations regarding ensuring school fees do not present a barrier to immediate enrollment and retention in school for students experiencing homelessness.
Download the resource.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Education Rights of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations (Updated November 2009)
Refreshed and revised, this useful resource provides practical and technical guidance to local homeless education liaisons, service providers, and advocates. A detailed topical index is included for easy navigation.
Download the resource.

Federal Resources

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act)
Read the full text of the McKinney-Vento Act.
Download the U.S. Department of Education's Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Non-Regulatory Guidance.

Other Resources

National Center for Homeless Education
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) serves as the information and technical assistance center for the U.S. Department of Education's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program. NAEHCY has collaborated with NCHE on several series of issue briefs that explain legal requirements and provide implementation strategies for the McKinney-Vento Act and related legislation.
Visit homeless education issue briefs webpage.

Statement on Immunization Records: M. Joycelyn Elders, MD
In this memorandum, M. Joycelyn Elders, MD, former U.S. Surgeon General, reinforces the importance and logic of the McKinney-Vento Act's immediate enrollment provision, even when a student is lacking immunization records.
Download the memo.

NAEHCY 2018 Conference
Anaheim, CA
October 27-30, 2018
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Homeless Students in ESEA Reauthorization
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