Students Experiencing Homelessness
42 USC § 11431 – STATEMENT OF POLICY the following is policy of the Congress:
(1) Each State educational agency shall ensure that each child of a
homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to
the same free, appropriate public education, including a public
preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.
(2) In any State that has a compulsory residency requirement as a
component of the State’s compulsory school attendance laws or
other laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a
barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of
homeless children and youths, the State will review and undertake
steps to revise such laws, regulations, practices, or policies to
ensure that homeless children and youths are afforded the same
free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and
(3) Homelessness alone is not sufficient reason to separate students
from the mainstream school environment.
(4) Homeless children and youths should have access to the education
and other services that such children and youths need to ensure
that such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the
same challenging State student academic achievement standards to
which all students are held.
Eligibility Under McKinney-Vento
Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing,
economic hardship, or a similar reason
Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the
lack of alternative adequate accommodations
Living in emergency or transitional shelters
Living in a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used
as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings,
substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
Migratory children living in the above circumstances
Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances
Enroll immediately, even if they do not currently have paperwork normally required for enrollment.
Attend either the local attendance area school or the school of origin, with the placement decision based
on the student’s best interest.
Remain in the school of origin for the duration of the homelessness or until the end of the school year in
which the student becomes permanently housed.
Receive transportation to and from the school of origin.
Receive educational services, such as free school meals, Title I services, participate in gifted and talented
programs, vocational education, alternative education, and any other services comparable to what
housed students receive.
Not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.
NCHE Parent Right Brochure:
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.
NCHEP Youth Educational Rights Poster
English & Spanish
NCHEP Parent Educational Rights Poster
English & Spanish
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.
Enrolling in school immediately while disputes are resolved.
Contacts for Support
ArtSpace Homeless Liason