What is McKinney-Vento?
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:
- Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
- Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
- Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
- Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
- Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
- Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations
Under the McKinney-Vento Act parents/unaccompanied homeless youths have rights to:
- Go to schools, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there
- Stay in the school that he/she was attending before becoming homeless
- Enroll in school immediately, even if you do not have all the enrollment documents, such as school and medical records
- Access the same special programs and services that are provided to other children, including special education, migrant education and vocational education
- Receive the same public education that is provided to other children
North Carolina Homeless Education Program (HEPNC) Website
NCHE's Parent Brochure
"This brochure explains the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness and informs parents about ways in which they can support their children's education during times of mobility."