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McKinney-Vento Homeless Education
As we engage in the excitement of back-to-school time, it is important to remember that many students start school without everything they need to access, stay stable in, and experience success in school and school activities. Colorado school districts identified over 16,500 students as experiencing homelessness, or McKinney-Vento eligible, in the 2021-22 school-year. Back-to-school time is one of the primary times during the school year where districts identify and connect students experiencing homelessness to the services and supports they need to be successful. Your role as the McKinney-Vento District Liaison is essential in ensuring students experiencing homelessness start school with the same opportunities to succeed as their housed peers. Please review the following Back-to-School Memo for helpful information and resources to support students experiencing homelessness in your district and community.
Highly Mobile Youth CDE Learning Cohort: A statewide cohort of leaders who will meet for six convenings to learn, share, and collaborate on ways to best support our highly mobile youth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Program Overview (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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