The Homeless Education Program ensures access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children and youth experiencing homelessness in accordance with McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, Title VII- B, reauthorized in 2002 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Program for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth provides the following services:
- Educational Support and Remediation Service
- School Supplies
- Community Based Resources
What schools would a homeless student attend? The student may:
How long can a homeless student who attends his/her school of origin remain? A student who is or becomes homeless may:
- Attend the school of origin for the duration of homelessness, whether the homelessness condition occurs during or between academic years.
- Stay in the school for the remainder of the academic year if the student becomes permanently housed during the academic year. The student must transfer to the school zoned for the permanent residence at the beginning of the next academic year.
Is transportation provided? If the student continues enrollment in the school of origin while staying at a temporary residence outside of the school zone, transportation will be provided to and from the school of origin if requested by the parent/guardian/caregiver/unaccompanied youth. Provision of transportation assistance will be made in the best interest of the child. Requests for transportation may be made directly to the homeless liaison or the school social worker.
What is the student is an Unaccompanied Youth? The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines unaccompanied youth as youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian [42 U.S.C. §11434A (6)] and eligible for immediate school enrollment. The absence of an available caregiver should not impede enrollment. Unaccompanied, homeless youth, who are on their own completely, should be enrolled in school immediately, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation. [42 U.S.C. §§11432(g)(3)( C)(i)]. Schools cannot require caregivers to become legal guardians within a certain period of time after the child enrolls in school.
If a homeless student arrives at school without a parent/guardian, the student shall be enrolled and the school social worker notified. The social worker shall contact the parent/guardian and complete the enrollment process. Students must meet age eligibility criteria for enrollment. The Caregiver Authorization form can be used to enroll a homeless student without a parent or legal guardian. However, this form should not create further barriers or delay school enrollment for unaccompanied youth without the support of a caregiver.