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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

Session 3 - Federal Program Updates and Local Liaison Sharing 

Additional Guidance on Title IA Set-Asides for Serving Homeless Children and Youth


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.

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:

Mandatory: McKinney-Vento U.S. Department of Education End of Year Report for School Year 2021-2022

All LEA's must complete this report. An electronic data link for submission will be sent to all LEA Liaisons in October 2022.

McKinney-Vento U.S. Department of Education End of Year Report