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The McKinney-Vento Act

What is the McKinney-Vento Act?

The Mckinney-Vento Act provides protections to homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence", and goes on to give examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children living in "motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations"
  • Children living in "cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations..."
  • Children living in "emergency or transitional shelters"
  • Children whose nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (i.e. park benches)
  • Children sharing housing due to economic hardship and loss of housing
  • Children "awaiting foster care placement"

The Mckinney-Vento Act requires schools to register homeless children even if they lack normally required documents, such as proof of residence; and school districts are required to provide transportation to homeless students' school-of-origin when reasonable and feasible.

In May 2010, legislation was introduced to amend the Mckinney-Vento Act. Increased state funding for the education of homeless children, increased access to public preschool programs, and access to credit recovery programs for homeless youth, are some of the provisions included in the proposed revision.