McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the term “homeless children and youths” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes children and youths: 

  • who are sharing the housing of others 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, who have 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;
  • who are migratory children who live in one of the above circumstances.

The McKinney-Vento Act requires that

  • homeless students who move have the right to remain in their schools of origin if that is in the student’s best interest;
  • homeless students must be immediately enrolled in a new school, even if they do not have the records normally required for enrollment;
  • transportation must be provided to or from a student’s school of origin, at the request of a parent, guardian, or, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local liaison;
  • homeless students must have access to all programs and services for which they are eligible;
  • unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in school without proof of guardianship; 
  • parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youths have the right to dispute an eligibility, school selection, or enrollment decision.