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McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Overview
What is the purpose of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (McKinney-Vento) program?


The McKinney-Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, State educational agencies (SEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth. Homeless children and youth should have access to education and other services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. States and districts are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youth.


Definition of Homeless

The term "homeless children and youth"

  1. Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
  2. Includes:

a. children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals

b. children and youth 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

c. children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings and

d. migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).



The following 16 services are offered:

  • Tutoring or supplemental instructional support
  • Expedited evaluations or testing
  • Free Lunch
  • Referrals for medical, dental, and other health services
  • Transportation if needed and/or qualify
  • Early childhood education programs if needed/or qualify
  • Obtaining or transferring records necessary for enrollment
  • Parent education related to rights and resources
  • Coordination between schools and service agencies
  • Comparable services and participation in all school activities
  • School supplies
  • Counseling and referrals for Domestic Violence issues
  • Needs that students may have due to Domestic Violence
  • Emergency assistance to enable students to attend school


Find out more about Resources available to those suffering from Homelessness.