HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH HAVE SCHOOL RIGHTS
Under Federal and State Law (The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)
Who is a homeless student?
A child who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The child may live in a shelter, a temporary home, a motel, a car, a campground, or on the street. Student status should be referred to the Homeless Office. The school should not determine if the students is homeless.
Which school can a homeless student attend?
A homeless student can attend the school that serves the address where the student is temporarily living or the school of origin (the school that the student attended prior to becoming homeless). The student can stay in the school for as long as the student is homeless or until the end of the school year, if the student becomes permanently housed. A student is only considered homeless for the current school year.
Who decides which school a homeless student will attend?
It is up to the parent, the school and the Homeless Office to decide what’s in the student’s best interest. The parent should think about which school would be better for the child.
Is transportation provided?
Yes, transportation is provided to the school which is determined to be in the child’s best interest. The 1.0 mile rule applies to determine if the child will be a “walker”. Secondary students may be issued bus tickets. The Homeless Office will be able to give details.
Does residency have to be proven?
No. Schools must enroll homeless students right away with or without records of residency. Homeless status should always be determined, in advance, with the Homeless Office before registering the student.
Are services available?
Yes. We can help with school records, school materials, school meal programs, and special education services. We can also help with food, clothing, and medical assistance by providing referral information. We may be able to help with tutoring.
Can school fees be waived?
Yes. If you cannot afford fees they can be waived. In cases where uniforms are worn, arrangements can be made for the student to get uniforms. Contact the Homeless Office.
Is there a right to appeal?
Yes. A parent may appeal decision regarding a child’s education. For example, if you disagree with a decision about school enrollment, school transportation or waiver of fees, you can appeal. You can get an appeal from the Homeless Office.