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McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires school districts, through their homeless student liaisons, to provide public notice of the education rights of the homeless students enrolled in their districts. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(e)(3)(C)(i). Such notice is to be disseminated in places where homeless students receive services under this Act, including schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens. 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(6)(A)(vi). The notice must be in a “manner and form” understandable to homeless students and their parents/guardians, “including, if necessary and to the extent feasible,” in their native language. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(e)(3)(C)(iii).

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines for states, which address ways a state may (1) assist LEAs to implement McKinney-Vento, as amended by ESSA, and (2) review and revise policies and procedures, along with LEAs, that may present barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youths in school.

In March 2017, the U.S. Department of Education updated the Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Non-Regulatory Guidance. This document highlights the key changes brought about by ESSA. For notice requirements under “tips for establishing an effective dispute resolution process”, see page 33.

Additional resources available from the U.S. Department of Education include: Dear Colleague Letter: educational rights of homeless children and youths and guidance on Supporting the Success of Homeless Children and Youths. Also, the National Center for Homeless Education (funded by the U.S. Department of Education) has created free Educational Rights posters (in black/white or color; English/Spanish; parents/students). 

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, districts may request flexibility waivers from the Department of Education.