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McKinney-Vento Homeless Education
American Rescue Plan: Homeless Children and Youth Fund
On Friday, April 23, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced plans to distribute $800 million to help support the needs of students experiencing homelessness under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief. These funds are being released in two disbursements, with Colorado receiving $1,910,019 on Monday, April 26 and an additional $5,730,056 to be released as soon as June 2021. These funds are being released to States, which can use up to 25% of the funds for state-level planning and activities. States must distribute the remaining 75% of the funds to local education agencies (LEAs) for local needs.
The funds awarded under ARP can be used to facilitate the identification, enrollment, retention, and educational success of homeless children and youth. Additionally, these funds can be used for community-based organizations that are well-positioned to identify youth from historically underserved populations, including rural children and youth, Tribal children and youth, students of color, children and youth with disabilities, English learners, LGBTQ+ youth, and pregnant, parenting, or caregiving students, to educationally related supports and services.
Homeless Education FAQ for COVID-19 Response
As school districts prepare for reopening and recovery, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education FAQ offers information and considerations for serving students experiencing homelessness.
About Homeless Education
- The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of legislation related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
- Specific provisions ensure the enrollment, accessibility, and educational stability for students lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
Who qualifies for McKinney-Vento?
- Any displaced child or youth experiencing the following has educational rights under the McKinney-Vento Act:
- is living in a shelter, motel, inadequate trailer, or house;
- is staying temporarily with relatives or friends due to economic hardship or loss of housing; or
- is living in any other homeless situation.
Educational Rights of McKinney-Vento Students
- Access to a McKinney-Vento Homeless Educational Liaison in their school district
- Identification through outreach and coordination activities
- Immediate enrollment with full and equal opportunity to succeed in school
- Choice between the neighborhood school or the school of origin (school last enrolled in or attended)
- Transportation to the school of origin (including preschool)
- Immediate access to free school meals and educational services for which they are eligible
- Automatic eligibility for Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
- Referrals to health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services
- Unaccompanied youth are informed of their status as independent students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Check out our Homeless Education Fact Sheet (PDF) for additional information about Colorado’s McKinney-Vento Program.
- Every school district has a designated McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison responsible for identifying MKV students and providing resources to help these students.
- Refer to our list of liaisons to find the liaison in your district.
The Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Education Rights of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations
This document, created collaboratively by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), and updated in October 2017, provides answers to many of the most frequently asked questions on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations.
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