Homeless Program: McKinney Vento
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, and is part of Title I. It ensures educational rights for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness is a lack of permanent housing resulting from extreme poverty or from the lack of a stable and adequate living arrangement. The McKinney-Vento Act contains a specific definition of homelessness that includes a broad range of inadequate living situations.
The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes—
- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason:
- living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations;
- living in emergency or transitional shelters;
- being abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
- having 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;
- living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- migratory children who are living in circumstances described.
Districts must provide educational stability for homeless students. Changing schools greatly interferes with students’ academic and social growth. Highly mobile students, including students who are homeless, have been found to have lower test scores and lower overall academic performance than peers who do not experience homelessness.