Homeless School Aged Children and Their Families Have Certain Rights/ Protections Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act

The federal definition of homelessness includes those students living in shelters, motels, transitional housing programs, doubled up in another family’s home, couch surfing, unaccompanied youth, on the streets, in substandard trailers and in temporary foster care.

A summary of these rights are:

  • School of Origin-The right to continue attending the school they last attended (or the one they have attended since the beginning of the school year) while moving to different locations due to their homelessness.

  • School of Origin Transportation-The right to receive transportation to their ‘school of origin’, the school they last attended.

  • Equal Access-The right to the same public education as other non-homeless students. Students cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are living in a homeless situation.

  • Free Meals-The right to be immediately enrolled in the free breakfast and lunch program at school.

  • Immediate Enrollment-The right to enroll and attend classes while the school gathers school and immunization records or any other paperwork needed for enrollment. Lack of documentation cannot prevent the immediate enrollment of a homeless student.

  • Enrollment Dispute Resolution-The right to enroll and attend classes in the school of their choice while the school and the homeless student/family seek to resolve a dispute over where to enroll.

  • Partial Credit-The right to receive partial credit for productive time spent in high school classes, even if, due to their transiency, they are not able to complete a full semester.

  • No Permanent Address- The right to enroll in school without having a permanent address.

For further assistance call:

South Bay Union Elementary School District Liaison
Cassi Le-Hue