Education for Homeless Students (McKinney-Vento Act)

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) ensures homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths. It has most recently been reauthorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).

If you and your children live in any of the following circumstances, you may be eligible to receive certain protections under the McKinney-Vento Act:

  • In a shelter
  • Doubled up with other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Camping grounds due to lack of adequate accommodations
  • In a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed to be ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations by human beings
  • In a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings

Students eligible for protections under McKinney Vento have a right to: 

  • Receive a free and appropriate public education
  • Enroll in school immediately even if lacking documents that would otherwise be required for enrollment
  • Attend classes while the school pursues gathering required documentation
  • Enroll in a local school, or continue attending the school of origin (the school they were enrolled in when permanently housed)
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students according to each individual student’s needs including access to special education services, after school programming, summer programs, and extracurricular activities
  • Receive Free Lunch
  • Living arrangements are protected under both FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and the McKinney-Vento Act.

If you believe your child might be eligible or for more information, please contact Alison Bradley, Prospect Hill Academy’s district point of contact for McKinney-Vento Resources. She can be reached at abradley@phacs.org or at 617-684-8554.