McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is also known as Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The act was created to assist qualifying students in meeting the basic needs in order to achieve academic success.

Homeless students are children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Unaccompanied youth includes a youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and lacks fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence. Homeless children and youth include those students who are as follows:

  • sharing the house of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  • living in motels, hotels, transient trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  • living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  • living in a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
  • living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; or
  • living in a migratory situation that qualifies as homeless because the child lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence

Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documentation.
  • Enroll in the local attendance area school or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is the parent’s, guardian’s, or unaccompanied youth’s preference is feasible and is in the student’s best interest. If the school district believes the school selected is not in the student’s best interest, then the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform him/her of the right to appeal its decision.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student’s needs.

For statistical information on homeless education in North Carolina, please visit one of the following links: 

Use the links below for specific information about parent and student rights:
NC Homeless Program Information
McKinney-Vento Parent InformationMcKinney-Vento Student Information

To qualify for these rights, children and youth must be considered homeless according to the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless.
Contact Information
TESG liaison:
Ms. Cortney White
Phone: (336) 890-8374
Please contact Ms.White for enrollment information.
NC State Coordinator:
Lisa Phillips
Phone: (336) 315-7491