McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

McKinney-Vento Act:

42 USC § 11431 – STATEMENT OF POLICY the following is policy of the


(1) Each State educational agency shall ensure that each child of a
homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to
the same free, appropriate public education, including a public
preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.
(2) In any State that has a compulsory residency requirement as a
component of the State’s compulsory school attendance laws or
other laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a
barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of
homeless children and youths, the State will review and undertake
steps to revise such laws, regulations, practices, or policies to
ensure that homeless children and youths are afforded the same
free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and
(3) Homelessness alone is not sufficient reason to separate students
from the mainstream school environment.
(4) Homeless children and youths should have access to the education
and other services that such children and youths need to ensure
that such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the
same challenging State student academic achievement standards to
which all students are held.

Who Are Homeless Children and Youths?

Homeless children and youths are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:

  • 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; are abandoned in hospitals;
  • children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as 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; and
  • migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.

Educational Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there.
  • Continue in the school they last attended before becoming homeless or the school they last attended, if that is the parent’s or guardian’s choice and is feasible.
  • Receive transportation to the school they last attended before their family became homeless or the school they last attended, if a parent or guardian requests such transportation.
  • Attend school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless.
  • Enroll in school without giving a permanent address.
  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.
  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs.
  • Receive transportation to school and to school programs comparable to that provided to children who are not homeless.

These rights are established under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The McKinney-Vento Act was originally authorized in 1987 and reauthorized in December 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For more information on parent/youth rights please visit

NCHEP website

Additional Data can be found at NCHEP Profile web page (

For more information on the McKinney-Vento Act please contact:

Britney Ross, Homeless Liaison for Francine Delany New School for Children
828-236-9441 Ext. 4

Savannah Gay, Charter School Program Specialist for the North Carolina Homeless Education Program

Phone: 743-241-0004 & Email:

Website: NC Homeless Education Program or NCDPI Homeless Program Monitoring