The federal McKinney-Vento Act protects the rights of children and youth in homeless situations to attend and succeed in school, including pre-school.
The McKinney-Vento Act applies to all children and youth who do not have a fixed, regular and adequate residence, including children and youth who are: staying with friends or relatives because they lost their housing; awaiting foster placement; or living in emergency or transitional shelters, motels, domestic violence shelters, campgrounds, inadequate trailer parks, cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings and bus/train stations.
Children and youth in homeless situations have the right to:
Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there;
Choose between the local school where they are living, the school they attended before they lost their housing, or the school where they were last enrolled;
Enroll in school without proof of residency, immunizations, school records, or other documents;
Get transportation to school;
Get all the school services they need;
Be free from harassment and isolation; and
Have disagreements with the school settled quickly.
For help enrolling in school or with other education issues, families, children and youth should contact their State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
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