Homeless Education Rights
The McKinney-Vento Act requires educational access, attendance, and success for homeless children and youth.
The X Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 defines homeless children and youth as children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth:
- sharing Housing (doubled up with relatives and friends) - due to loss of housing or economic hardship
- living in motels, hotels, or camping grounds due to lack of adequate housing
- living in emergency or transitional shelter
- living in a car, park, or other public place, bus/train station, or abandoned building
Unaccompanied Youth - There is a two step process for determining if a youth is an UHY (unaccompanied homeless youth)
- Does the student's living arrangement meet the McKinney-Vento's definition of homelessness?
- Once homelessness is determined, is the student unaccompanied?
Unaccompanied - "not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian;" in practical terms, this means the youth does not live with the parent or guardian. Runaways are considered to be homeless.
Where can a child or youth without a fixed, regular, and adequate residence attend school?
- the school the child or youth attended before becoming homeless, or was last enrolled (school of origin)
- the school in the attendance area in which the child or youth is currently living
Requirements (school age and younger)
- Enroll students immediately in local school (even when lacking documentation such as proof of residence, guardianship, birth certificates, school records, immunizations, physical, etc.) or
- Maintain student in school of origin when feasible and in the student's best interest
- Includes transportation (even across division lines) if needed
- Students who are experiencing homelessness automatically qualify for free and reduced breakfast and lunch
Contact Martinsville City Schools Homeless Liaison, Felicia Preston at (276) 403-5833 if you have questions or go to the Project Hope website at http://education.wm.edu/centers/hope/