Homeless Education Information

Homeless Education Information

Homeless Education Information - Mckinney-Vento

Washington State Requirements and Guidance for Homeless Education

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.


The Basics:
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 

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.

Defining Homeless: 

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth awaiting foster care placement
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

Awaiting Foster Care Placement: 
The McKinney-Vento Act draws a distinction between children and youth who are “in” foster care, and those who are “awaiting” foster care. Washington state defines "awaiting" foster care as the period of time between the initial placement of the child into state care and the 30-day shelter care hearing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -As described on the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Homeless Education Site

​PSD Policy on Homeless - English
PSD Policy on Homeless - Spanish 

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