Homeless Education (McKinney-Vento Act)
The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, which was signed into law in 1987, required states to review and revise residency requirements for the enrollment of homeless children and youth to address the challenges that they face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school.
This particularly vulnerable population of children has steadily increased over the years. According to Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program data, national estimates from the 2006-07 school year to the 2013-14 school year show the total number of homeless children and youths doubling from 679,724 to 1,301,239 students. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, 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 youths. Homeless children and youth must have access to the educational and related services that they need to enable them to meet the same challenging state academic standards to which all students are held. In addition, homeless students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment. SEAs and local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to review and undertake steps to revise laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youths.
The tenets of the law provide children and youth experiencing homelessness with the following:
- Immediate enrollment even when records not present
- Right to remain in the school of origin, if in the student's best interest
- Transportation to the school of origin
- Support for academic success
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is a helpful source for additional information about homeless education and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
A range of printable resources in both English and Spanish can be found on this page:
The Morris School District's local liaison for homeless education is:
Mr. Marc Gold, Director of Pupil Services
973-292-2300 ext. 2040
Who Are Homeless Children and Youth?
Homeless children and youth are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Title VII, Subtitle B, Section 725(2)
Questions regarding McKinney-Vento eligibility should be directed to:
Pheobie Thomas, State Coordinator
New Jersey Department of Education
Office of Supplemental Educational Programs
Telephone: (609) 376-9080