Homeless – McKinney-Vento Information

The McKinney-Vento Act of 1986 is a federal law that defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence”.  If you live in any of the following situations, you may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act:

  • In a shelter
  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
  • In a car, park abandoned building, or bus or train station
  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship

Eligible students have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school or continue attending their school of origin if that is their preference and is feasible.  (If the school district believes that the school selected is not in the student’s best interest, then the district must provide a written explanation and inform of rights to appeal its decision.)
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students according to the students’ needs.

If you have questions about eligibility for services or need assistance accessing resources,

please contact Margaret Vailencour or Anna Hernandez,  McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaisons, at 360-354-1549.

Posters from the National Center for Homeless Education website (click on link below):
Homeless Information for Parents
Homeless Information for Parents (Spanish)
Homeless Information for School-Aged Youth
Homeless Information for School-Aged Youth (Spanish)

Boy using crayon on a piece of paper
Two girl soccer players
Two girls in a classroom