McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Understanding the Educational Rights of Children in Temporary Living Situations

The McKinney-Vento Act provides rights and services to children and youth experiencing homelessness. Homelessness includes those who are: sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, living in motels, hotels, shelters, cars, parks, public places, or other similar reasons.

Zion Elementary School District 6 Liaison

Kimberly Monk

Phone: 847-379-0122
[email protected]

Homeless Liaison

Every school district has a homeless liaison to serve as the district’s main point of contact for students experiencing homelessness. The liaison has a duty to identify students experiencing homelessness, inform them of their rights, refer them to additional services, and ensure they have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in school. The liaison also has special duties to support unaccompanied homeless youths.

LEAs must:

- Ensure homeless children or youth are identified and enrolled in school with full and equal opportunities to succeed in school.
- Ensure homeless families, children, and youths receive referrals to health care, dental services, mental health, substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services.
- Ensure public notice about the rights of homeless children and youths is published where families are likely to receive services.

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (per Title IX, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act) defines homeless as follows:

The term "homeless children and youths"--

(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and

(B) includes--

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;* 

(ii) 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 (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C)); 

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 

(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
*Per Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act, "awaiting foster care placement" was removed from the definition of homeless on December 10, 2016; the only exception to his removal is that "covered states" have until December 10, 2017 to remove "awaiting foster care placement" from their definition of homeless.
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