Homeless Assistance


1. Definition of the McKinney-Vento Act and who qualifies

FROM http://center.serve.org/hepnc/mv.php

If you lost your housing and now live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, camping ground, or temporary trailer; on the street; doubled-up with family or friends; or in another type of temporary or inadequate housing, your child might be able to receive help through a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is also known as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act.

2. Parent/Unaccompanied Youth rights

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, children in homeless situations have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.
  • Attend either the local school or the school of origin, if this is in their best interest; the school of origin is the school the child attended when he/she was permanently housed or the school in which the child was last enrolled.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if missing records and documents normally required for enrollment, such as a birth certificate, proof of residence, previous school records, or immunization/medical records.
  • Enroll, attend classes, and participate fully in all school activities while the school gathers records.
  • Have access to the same programs and services that are available to all other students, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
  • Attend school with children not experiencing homelessness; a school can not segregate a student because he or she is homeless

3. What questions should I ask regarding services under McKinney-Vento?

  • Who is the local homeless education liaison? How can I contact him or her?
  • What transportation is available for my child to stay in the same school (the school of origin)?
  • If my child changes schools, who can help us transfer records quickly?
  • How can my child receive free meals at school?
  • How can my child receive free school supplies, if needed?
  • Who can help if my child needs special education services? How quickly can these services be set up?
  • What academic help is available for my child, such as Title I programs or after-school tutoring?
  • What programs can help develop my child’s talents and address his/her unique needs?
  • Are there sports, music, or other activities available for my child?
  • How can my child go on class field trips or participate in other school activities if I can’t pay for them?
  • Is there a preschool program for my younger children?

4. Contact information for the district McKinney-Vento liaison:

Alyssa Lanham
Local Homeless Education Liaison
School Social Worker
The Capitol Encore Academy
(910) 849-0888 x105
alanham@capitolencoreacademy.org

Lisa Phillips
State Coordinator for Homeless Education
Phone: (336) 315-7491
E-mail: lphillip@serve.org

5. Resources

Serving Homeless Children and Youth in Charter Schools (PDF)
Parents, what you need to know! (PDF)
Education Rights for Your Children