McKinney-Vento Assistance Act
District 115 and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) consider the school enrollment, attendance and success of homeless children and youth throughout Illinois as a high priority.
Our District supports students that are homeless through a homeless liaison and collaboration with Kendall/Grundy County. The liaison supports students to maintain continuity and access to educational experiences.
McKinney-Vento: Federal homeless education legislation
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of homeless children and youth so that they may enroll in school, attend regularly, and be successful. This Act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:
- The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
- The right to attend school in his/her school of origin (if this is requested by the parent and is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing
- The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if this is requested by the parent.
- The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
- The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student’s status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
- The posting of homeless students’ rights in all schools and other places around the community.
- The right to attend school without payment of tuition and without refusal of enrollment.
Who are homeless children and youth?
Before schools can be certain they are complying with legislation related to educating students experiencing homelessness, they must understand who can be considered homeless. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento”), 42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq., defines “homeless children and youth” (school-age and younger) as:
- Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; living in emergency or transitional shelters; abandoned in hospitals; or awaiting foster care placement.
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
- The term “unaccompanied youth” includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. This would include runaways living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets, or in other inadequate housing; children and youth denied housing by their families (sometimes referred to as “throwaway children and youth”); and school-age unwed mothers living in homes for unwed mothers because they have no other housing available.
- National Center for Homeless Education NCHE Hotline: 1-800-308-2145
- McKinney-Vento Fact Sheet
- Homeless Youth Handbook
- (105 ILCS 45/) Education for Homeless Children Act
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
- Resources & Scholarships for homeless and Housing-Insecure Students
- Affordable Colleges