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McKinney Vento

The McKinney-Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school.

Contact Information

Natalie Gouge
Director of Student Services
 
334 South Main Street
Marion, NC 28752
 

Legal Definition of Homelessness

 
The education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act states the following:
The term “homeless children and youths”—
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
(B) This includes—
(a) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons 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; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement
(b) children and youths 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 being
(c) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; an
(d) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this part because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses above.

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local attendance area school or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is the parent's, guardian's or unaccompanied youth's preference is feasible. If the school district believes the school selected is not in the student's best interest, then the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform him/her of the right to appeal its decision.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student's need.

McKinney-Vento Act Provisions for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment. • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local attendance area school or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is the parent's, guardian's, or unaccompanied youth's preference is feasible. If the school district believes the school selected is not in the student's best interest, then the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform him/her of the right to appeal its decision.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student’s needs.
 
In addition to the provisions that apply to all homeless students, the McKinney-Vento Act includes the following provisions specifically for unaccompanied homeless youth:
  • Unaccompanied homeless youth shall be immediately enrolled without proof of guardianship.
  • During a dispute over school selection or enrollment, unaccompanied homeless youth shall receive a written statement explaining the school’s decision, the youth’s right to appeal the decision, and a referral to the local liaison.
  • Local liaisons shall assist unaccompanied homeless youth in selecting a school of attendance and enrolling in school, requesting transportation to and from the school of origin and enrolling in school immediately while disputes are resolved.