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.