Homeless Students: No Child Left Behind
Information for Parents And School-Aged Youth
If a family lives in any of the following situations:
- In a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground
- On the street
- In an abandoned building, trailer, or other inadequate accommodations, or
- Doubled up with friends or relatives because affordable housing cannot be found
Then preschool-aged and school-aged children have certain rights or protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act.
The rights are:
- Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there. Must be given access to the same public education, including preschool education, provided to other children.
- Continue in the school attended before becoming homeless or the school last attended, if that is the choice and is feasible. If a school sends a child to a school other than the one requested, the school must provide a written explanation and offer the right to appeal the decision.
- Receive transportation to the school attended before the family became homeless or the school last attended, and a guardian may request such transportation.
- Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
- Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay school enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes in the school of choice even while the school and family seek to resolve a dispute over enrolling the children.
- Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs.
- Receive transportation to school and to school programs.
When a family moves, they should do the following:
- Contact the school district's local liaison for homeless education (see phone number below) for help in enrolling in a new school or arranging to continue in his or her former school. (Or, someone at a shelter, social services office, or the school can determine the person you need to contact.)
- Contact the school and provide any information that will assist the teachers in helping with the adjustment to new circumstances.
- Ask the local liaison for homeless education, the shelter provider, or a social worker for assistance with clothing and supplies, if needed.
If further assistance is needed, call the National Center for Homeless Education at the toll-free HelpLine number:
Local Area Contact: Rebecca Benner, (760) 726-2170, ext. 2377 or 2218.
State Coordinator: Leanne Wheeler, (916) 319-0383