Homeless Education

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.This legislation ensures that children and youth experiencing homelessness have full and equal access to an appropriate public education and that they experience success in school.

The McKinney-Vento Act requires immediate enrollment or the option to remain in the same school even when a student experiencing homelessness no longer resides in the school's attendance zone. Specifically:

  • Schools must enroll homeless children and youth immediately, even when:
    • School or health records are unavailable at the time of enrollment.
    • Birth certificates are not available.
    • Proof of residency is not available.[§722(g)(3)(C)]

  • Students may stay in their school of origin when in their best interest and if feasible.[§722(g)(3)(A)]

  • Unaccompanied youth must be provided educational access through the support of the local homeless education liaison.[§722(g)(6)]

  • When parent or student requests for enrollment or maintaining school or origin are denied, schools must provide written explanations of placement decisions and the dispute resolution process.[§722(g)(3)(E)(ii)]

  • School divisions must provide appropriate case management to ensure students have access to all educationalservices for which they are eligible.

  • Homeless students must receive services comparable to those of housed students.[§722(g)(4)]

  • Transportation to the school of origin must be provided, when appropriate.[§722(g)(1)(J)(iii)]

  • Social service agencies and school divisions must work together to serve students.[§722(g)(6)]

  • Homeless families and unaccompanied youth must be fully informed of available enrollment options and educational opportunities.[§722(g)(6)]

  • Separate schools or programs for homeless children and youth are prohibited, with the exception of several programs not located in Virginia that are specifically named in the McKinney-Vento Act.[§721(3) and §722(g)(1)(J)(i)]

Please contact Sharon Hall, Executive Director of Instruction, at 434.542.5151, if you have any questions regarding homeless education.

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