McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act
Under federal and state law, children and youth experiencing homelessness have a right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (federal law) provides assistance to states to help them ensure educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. This program helps State Educational Agencies (SEAs) ensure that homeless children, including preschoolers and youths, have equal access to FAPE, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.
Consistent with the McKinney-Vento Act, children experiencing homelessness are to be provided services comparable to those received by other students in the school they attend, including transportation services, and education programs for which such students are otherwise eligible, such as services provided under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 or similar state or local programs and programs for students with disabilities.
State law also addresses the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Texas Education Code (TEC) §§ 25.001, 25.002, and 29.153 address educational rights concerning school admission and preschool for homeless students.
-Texas Education Agency
Who are Homeless Children and Unaccompanied Youth?
McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725) identifies homeless children and youth as those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Key provisions in identifying homeless children and youth include, but are not limited to:
- Doubled-up with other persons due to loss of housing, hardship or similar reason
- Living in motels, outdoor/public spaces, substandard housing or similar settings
- Living in shelters (emergency or transitional) or transitional housing programs
- Migratory children who are living in any of the above circumstances