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Educational Services and Innovative Programs Division » Homeless Youth » Homeless Youth

Homeless Youth

The McKinney-Vento Act
 
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth.
 
Defining Homeless
 
The McKinney-Vento Act defines "homeless children and youth" as
 
A.  individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and
 
B.  includes
  1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
  2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
  3. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  4. migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described in (1) - (3).
Student Rights
 
Eligible students have the right to:
  1. Receive a free, appropriate public education;
  2. Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment;
  3. Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents;
  4. Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school the student attended when   permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled), if that is their preference and is feasible.  If the school district believes that the school selected in not in his/her best interest, then the district must provide the student with a written explanation of its position and inform the student of his/her right to appeal its decision.
  5. Receive transportation to school of origin, if requested.
  6. Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the students' needs.
 Each high school has at least one designated Homeless Youth Counselor or School Social Worker who works with the McKinney-Vento liaison to help meet the needs of these students.
 
For eligibility information, contact the Assistant Principal of Administration at your school, or the Kern High School District McKinney-Vento Liaison, Michelle Blalock (661-827-3419).