Need to Know 

Homeless Education

What parents and guardians need to know concerning homeless children and youth.

If your family lives in any of the following situations:

  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation

  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station

  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship

Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.

  • Your eligible children have the right to:

    • Receive a free, appropriate public education.

    • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.

    • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.

    • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference and is feasible.

                *If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.

    • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.

    • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children's needs.

    If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the local liaison to find out what services and supports may be available.  There also may be supports available for your preschool-age children.  Please go to the contacts tab (left side of page) for the local district liaison contact sheet.


    If you need furter assistance with your children's educational needs, contact the National Center for Homeless Education: 1-800-308-2145 homeless