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What is McKinney-Vento?
It is federal law. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 1987 is a federal law that ensures educational stability for students experiencing homelessness.
What is Homelessness?
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homelessness as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” That can look like:
- sharing housing with another person or family due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons;
- living in a motel or hotel;
- living in a shelter or temporary housing;
- living in a car, park, campground, public space, or abandoned building;
- living in housing with infestation, mold, overcrowding, or does not have heat, electricity, or water; or
- a student seeing enrollment without an accompanying parent and not in foster care or state’s custody.
What does McKinney-Vento do?
As part of the law, the McKinney-Vento Act ensures immediate enrollment in the student’s neighborhood school or last school attended. It also ensures students have access to the same opportunities offered to all students.
The McKinney-Vento Act provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve students experiencing homelessness. Those supports can include:
- transportation assistance;
- fee waivers;
- free school meals;
- clothing and shoe vouchers;
- backpacks and school supplies;
- hygiene products;
- college application fees; and
- cap and gown fees.*
*To have cap and gown fees waived, please speak with your counselor. Counselors: To order a cap and gown, please fill out this order form.
How to apply?
You can apply for McKinney-Vento assistance by first filling out the McKinney-Vento form (below) and submitting it to your school’s Main Office, Counseling Center, or Social Worker.
For the services listed above, please contact one of the district McKinney-Vento Liaisons, Shannalee Otanez and Sarah Thomas.
Shannalee Otanez, LCSW