McKinney-Vento (Homeless Program)
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:
- 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 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
McKinney-Vento scholars have the right to:
- Attend school in the attendance area where they are currently living.
- Attend the school of origin (the school they attended when they became homeless), or the school in which they were last enrolled.
- Immediate enrollment and support from district McKinney-Vento Liaison in obtaining school records and coordinating services.
- Receive transportation to their school, if necessary.
- Free school meals.
- Receive tutoring services focusing on academic assistance.
- Receive Preschool services.
- Support with on-time grade progression and graduation.
For assistance with any scholar that may be eligible, please contact your school liaison by calling the school or the district liaison.
If you wish to appeal the school district’s decision regarding school placement, you have the right to dispute this decision following the McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution Process. Below you will find helpful documents to request dispute resolution:
What You Need to Know to Help Your Child in School - English / Spanish
This brochure explains the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness and informs parents about ways in which they can support their children's education during times of mobility. Courtesy of the National Center for Homeless Education.
Information for Parents - English / Spanish
This poster, geared towards parents, explains who qualifies as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and lists the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Information for Youth - English / Spanish
This poster, geared towards unaccompanied students, explains who qualifies as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and lists the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Information for Parents & Youth - Multiple Languages
This poster, geared towards parents and unaccompanied youth, explains who qualifies as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and lists the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Higher Education Support for Independent Students
This 8½ x 11 color poster, based on the unaccompanied youth provisions of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, alerts unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness to contact the relevant authorities in order to receive a determination of independent student status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Facilitator of Equity and McKinney Vento/ Foster Care
Outreach Liaison for Attendance, McKinney Vento, & Native Education
- State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Website: Homeless Education
- Keith Woodruff, Program Supervisor of McKinney-Vento, State of Washington OSPI