The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is also known as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes –
Children and youth who are:
sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
living in emergency or transitional shelters;
abandoned in hospitals
Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) must review and revise policies and procedures to remove barriers to a high-quality education for homeless children and youths.
Every SEA must have an Office of the State Coordinator to oversee implementation of the Act, and every LEA must designate a local liaison able to carry out their duties to ensure that homeless students are identified and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in school.
The McKinney-Vento Act also requires that:
homeless students who move have the right to remain in their schools of origin (i.e., the school the student attended when permanently housed or in which the student was last enrolled, which includes preschools) if that is in the student’s best interest;
if it is in the student’s best interest to change schools, homeless students must be immediately enrolled in a new school, even if they do not have the records normally required for enrollment;
transportation must be provided to or from a student’s school of origin, at the request of a parent, guardian, or, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local liaison;
homeless students must have access to all programs and services for which they are eligible, including special education services, preschool, school nutrition programs, language assistance for English learners, career and technical education, gifted and talented programs, magnet schools, charter schools, summer learning, online learning, and before and after-school care;
unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in school without proof of guardianship; and
parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youths have the right to dispute an eligibility, school selection, or enrollment decision.
McKinney-Vento contact for Mooresville Graded School District:
Mooresville High School Annex
160 South Magnolia Street
Mooresville, NC 28115
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is an information clearinghouse and technical assistance center in support of the homeless education community nationwide in the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act). NCHE is funded through the U.S. Department of Education and is housed at the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
NCHE supports educators, service providers, State Coordinators for homeless education, local school district homeless liaisons, parents, community agencies, and researchers in meeting the needs of homeless children and youth. Resources include: publications, phone and email technical assistance, a listserve, on-site and online training, and current and comprehensive information.
Visit the NCHE website
The North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP) addresses the educational needs of homeless children and youth in North Carolina through the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act). NCHEP provides information, technical assistance, and training to local homeless liaisons in school districts, to school and school district personnel, to service providers, and to community agencies.
Visit the NCHEP website