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School District of Janesville

Resources * For Students * Homeless Information * Rights and Identification

Rights and Identification


What are the rights of students identified under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act?

Students who are identified as homeless by the school district’s homeless liaison have the following rights from the point of identification.

  • Immediate school enrollment: Even without proof of residency, guardianship, immunizations, or school records.
  • School choice: Students may choose to stay at the school attended when permanently housed or to enroll in the school where currently living for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Free lunches: Homeless students are automatically eligible to receive free lunch for the duration of the school year.
  • School fee waivers: Students have the right to equal access to education.
  • School supplies: Students have the right to have barriers to education removed. Required school supplies should be provided.
  • Transportation: While students are actively homeless, transportation is provided for students residing outside of their school’s attendance area.


Who is protected under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act?

Students whose overnight accommodations are not fixed, regular or adequate are protected by the McKinney-Vento Act. The following living situations may be considered homeless:

  • Sharing housing with relatives or others due to a lack of housing
  • In a shelter or transitional living program
  • In a motel, hotel, park or campground due to lack of adequate housing
  • In a car or RV or in a public place (such as a bus station)
  • In sub-standard housing, such as an abandoned building
  • Without a parent or guardian, or a teen (up to age 21) living independently
  • Parents are migrant workers
  • In other situations that are not fixed, regular, or adequate for nighttime residence

Each school district’s homeless liaison is responsible for determining if a student qualifies as homeless.