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Homeless Education Legislation and Guidance
These webpages are designed to give an overview of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the programs run through Title IX, part A of Every Student Succeeds Act in Colorado. They also provide specific resources and information for school district liaisons and other audiences to ensure access to a free and appropriate public education for homeless children and youth, and success in school once enrolled.
The Homeless Education program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC 11431 et seq.). The McKinney-Vento Act was enacted to address the numerous barriers homeless children face in obtaining a free, appropriate public education.
The program was originally authorized in 1987 and, most recently, reauthorized as Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness including 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 in the child or youth’s best interest, or if 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 or unaccompanied youth.
- The right to services comparable to those received by household 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.
Title IA Webinar Series
In March of 2022, the Colorado Department of Education hosted a three-webinar series on Title IA Set-asides to support homeless children and youth. The series covered the required cross- program coordination between the McKinney-Vento Act and Title I, Part A to support the identification and address the needs of students experiencing homelessness. The webinar series was designed to support McKinney-Vento District Liaisons and Title I district partners in planning and coordinating services for students in their districts. Please see the recordings, slides and shared resources to support coordination at your district.
Session 1 - District Perspectives on Leveraging Title IA Set-asides to serve children and youth experiencing homelessness
Session 2 - National Recommended Practices from SchoolHouse Connection
- Miami Dade County Public Schools Sample Housing Questionnaire
- Rochester, NH Sample Housing Questionnaire
- Centennial BOCES Colorado Sample Housing Questionnaire
Session 3 - Federal Program Updates and Local Liaison Sharing
Additional Guidance on Title IA Set-Asides for Serving Homeless Children and Youth
- Serving Students Experiencing Homelessness under Title I, Part A (National Center for Homeless Education - Law into Practice Brief)
- A Closer Look at ESSA, Title I Part A, and Students Experiencing Homelessness (SchoolHouse Connection - May 8, 2017 Resources)
Education Week's Feature
Kerry Wrenick, state coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth program at CDE from 2017-2020, is featured in Education Week’s inaugural edition of “10 Big Ideas in Education.” This is a special report exploring game-changing disruptions to the field of education that have the potential to shake up the schoolhouse and the classroom. Presented in no particular order, they are meant to stir conversation or prompt you to think about your work in a new way. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/01/10/how-one-district-cut-student-homelessness-by.html
Denver Post Feature
Dana Scott worked with Jennifer Brown from the Denver Post on an article illustrating the impacts of homelessness on students’ lives, including their education. The article also provides information on the McKinney-Vento Act and the educational rights of homeless students.
Guidance from US Department of Education and Questions and Answers on the McKinney-Vento Act:
- Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program -- Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, United States Department of Education, last updated July 2016
- Transitional Housing Clarification -- Comprehensive briefs with extensive information. This letter is in response to questions asked to the United States Department of Education
- Reauthorization of Child Nutrition Programs Implementation Update #1-- USDA has issued several policy memos already relating to certain provisions of the law, as well as other recent changes updated July 2004
- Full Text of ESSA -- Link to the full text ESEA as reauthorized by ESSA