The McKinney-Vento program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, State Educational Agencies (SEAs) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth.
Homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. States and districts are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youth.
The program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 USC 11431 et seq.), (McKinney-Vento Act). The program was originally authorized in 1987 and, most recently, reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:
Section 1113 of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires each Local Educational Agency (LEA) to reserve such funds as are necessary under Title I, Part A to provide services to children attending non Title I schools that is comparable to services the LEA provides to children in Title I schools. Services are supplemental and should supplement local funding in the absence of McKinney Vento grant funds. Services may include providing educationally related support services as well as basic needs such as clothing, supplies and health care.
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