McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento) is a federal law that protects the educational rights of homeless students to eliminate barriers to the enrollment, retention, and success of homeless students; and to ensure they receive equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as is provided other students.
For more information: U.S. Department of Education - Homeless Youth
Who is Homeless?
According to McKinney-Vento, homeless children and youth include individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This
includes the following situations:
• Sharing the housing of others (known as doubling up) due to loss of housing or economic hardship;
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds;
• Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
• Abandoned in hospitals;
• Living in a nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation;
• Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
McKinney-Vento also recognizes unaccompanied youth who are homeless. According to the act, an unaccompanied youth is a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian.
Student Rights Under McKinney-Vento
McKinney-Vento assures every student experiencing homelessness has the right to:
• Immediate enrollment, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, or proof of residency;
• Remain in the school of origin, if in the student’s best interest;
• Receive transportation to/from the school of origin; and
• Receive services comparable to services offered to other students in the District.
Need homeless assistance or know someone else who does?
The homeless coordinator plays a vital role in ensuring that children and youth experiencing homelessness enroll and succeed in school. The McKinney-Vento Act requires that every school district appoint a homeless coordinator who serves as the link between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers and social service providers. The homeless coordinator is responsible for:
- Assisting homeless children and youth with enrolling and accessing school services
- Obtaining immunization or medical records
- Coordinating transportation services
- Informing parents, school personnel of the rights of homeless children and youth
- Collaborating and coordinating with Missouri’s State homeless coordinator, the community and other school personnel
- Handling disputes over enrollment, school placement and transportation
- Ensuring that homeless children and youth are immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of any disputes
To seek assistance under the McKinney-Vento Act, or to file a complaint regarding the placement or education of a homeless student, please contact:
The School District of University Homeless Liaison:
Mr. Gary Spiller, Executive Director of Student Services
The School District of University City
8136 Groby Road
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 290- 4045 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Education Policy IGBCA, Programs for Homeless Students, provides additional information regarding the District’s programs for students