Overview of Program
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Program
To address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, State educational agencies must ensure that each homeless child and youth has access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children. Homeless children and youth should have access to the same challenging student academic achievement standards to which all students are held.
Public Law 100 - 77
Amount of Funding
$719,404 Local Education Agency Subgrants
$7,619 State Education Agency Administration Reserve
Districts are eligible for the grant if they can demonstrate a high need for assistance with enrolling and maintaining the attendance of students who are homeless.
Applications for funding require specific information about the district's need for assistance such as the number of identified homeless students in the district and barriers to enrolling and maintaining attendance. The districts that receive funding are required to provide end of year data on numbers of children identified and served as well as types of services provided. It is the responsibility of the State Coordinator to compare the applications with the end of year data to determine progress. The State Coordinator also conducts monitoring throughout the school year.
Documented Evidence of Results
The McKinney-Vento subgrant provides local education agencies with additional funds to perform the responsibilities that NCLB requires of all districts such as identifying a Homeless Liaison. With extra financial support, districts are able to devote more time to identifying, enrolling, and maintaining the attendance of homeless children and youth. This results in homeless children being provided the same educational opportunities as other students.
Documents and Forms
Statewide Homeless Census Results
Guidance and Law
Title I, Part A Homeless Set-Aside
All public schools and districts receiving federal funds must ensure that services are provided to children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. To assist with these services, the law requires that school districts set aside Title I funds, as necessary, to provide services comparable to those that are provided to children in Title I, Part A funded schools. These funds can also support educationally related services to children in shelters and other locations where homeless children may live. The services provided with these funds should support homeless students to succeed in school and to meet the academic achievement standards.
Comparable services do not necessarily mean the same services; however, these funds may also be used to provide services that are not ordinarily provided to other Title I students.
If your district has students who meet the definition of homelessness according to Title X, McKinney-Vento, listed below are some strategies on how you may use your Title I homeless set-aside funds and/or McKinney-Vento funds.
- Homeless awareness activities
- Testing fees
- Before/After school programs
- Homework assistance
- Supplemental instruction
- Enrichment activities
- Supplies for special projects
(i.e.: art, home economics, science)
- Transportation costs
- Referrals for medical, dental, mental and other health services
- Early childhood programs for homeless preschool age children
- Services to attract, engage and retain homeless children in school
- Services to enable students to enroll in and succeed in school
- Fees and costs associated with tracking and obtaining records
- Violence prevention counseling
- Domestic violence counseling
- Parent education for parents of homeless students
- School supplies
- Clothing and hygiene products
- Salaries for homeless liaisons
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The Team Approach to Supporting Highly Mobile and Homeless Students
District and school staff can work together to ensure a welcoming environment for students who are highly mobile or homeless. While no one person can meet all the needs of a student who is homeless, a caring and welcoming staff makes a world of difference to a student struggling with daily survival needs. School staff should consider a team approach to identifying students who are homeless and highly mobile, working to meet their basic needs, and creating a welcoming environment for these students and their families. A team might consist of the homeless liaison, school administrator, school secretary, nurse, teacher, school counselor, and school social worker.
Below are some tasks team members can undertake to identify the unmet needs of students who are highly mobile and homeless.
- Ensure that homeless children and youth (including preschool children and unaccompanied youth) are identified and immediately enrolled in school by establishing a referral process with school staff and community agencies.
- Inform parents/students of their educational rights.
- Inform parents/students of transportation rights, including transportation to the school of origin.
- Guarantee that students receive free school meals, school supplies, and course fee waivers.
- Alert appropriate staff, in a confidential manner, of the student's living situation.
- Collaborate with community service providers, school personnel, and the state homeless coordinator to provide homeless children and youth education and related services.
- Communicate to school staff the importance of providing a safe and helpful environment to students who are highly mobile and homeless.
- Extend yourself to the family/student by letting them know your school is a safe and caring place.
- Ensure transportation to allow students/parents to attend school events.
- Encourage parents to volunteer at school and participate in school events.
School Secretary/Enrollment Personnel
- Recognize specific signs a family/student may be homeless. Tactfully inquire about living situations.
- Enroll the student immediately and offer privacy and assistance in completing enrollment forms.
- Refer the family or unaccompanied youth to the district homeless liaison to discuss the student's educational rights under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.
- Be sensitive and caring in your attitude and approach. You may be the first person the family or unaccompanied youth interacts with - you may make the difference in how the family and youth feel about their new school.
- Verify immunization records and check for other health issues.
- Identify students with mental/psychological concerns. Refer student to appropriate professionals.
- Follow-up with healthcare concerns.
- Refer the family or youth to community resources that provide health benefits such as dental care, Medicaid, physicals, Supplemental Security Insurances (SSI), Women-Infant-Children (WIC), and other community health programs.
- Be familiar with the common characteristics of students who are homeless.
- Identify areas of academic strengths and limitations for students and communicate with parents about their child's school performance.
- Connect students and parents with tutoring, mentoring, and extended day programs if needed.
- Adjust assignments to allow homeless and highly mobile students to complete them at school.
- Keep school supplies, snacks, clothes and other basic necessities on hand for students who may need them. Find quiet ways to distribute these resources.
- Reinforce the positive aspects of the student's academic and social skills while strengthening areas in need of improvement.
- Provide extra encouragement and attention to students who are highly mobile and homeless.
- Introduce yourself to the student and family as an advocate for them.
- Monitor academic progress, offer support services, and assure students access to all programs and extracurricular activities.
- Offer support for the social/emotional (safety, security, and belonging) needs of students.
- Refer the family/student to community agencies for psychological/mental health support if required.
- Check-in frequently with highly mobile and homeless students to gauge their adjustment to their new surroundings.
School Social Worker
- Assist families in identifying community services and resources.
- Consult with teachers, administrators, and parents about academic performance and behavior.
- Participate in crisis intervention teams for referrals, e.g., abuse, neglect, and suicide risk.
- Coordinate with the court, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems, as appropriate, to support highly mobile and homeless student's success in school.
It is important for team members to meet regularly to discuss and problem solve the academic, social, and emotional progress of students who are highly mobile and homeless. Team members should also discuss activities to increase parental involvement, ways to build community partnerships, and other ideas to increase student and family stability.
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