McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act

  • The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of homeless children and youth so that they may enroll in school. The legislation requires a local homeless education liaison in every school district to assist children and unaccompanied youth in their efforts to attend school regularly and be successful. This act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:

    • The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
    • The right for the student to attend school in the school of origin or the school in the attendance area where the family or youth currently resides.
    • The right to receive transportation to and from the school of origin.
    • The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
    • The right to an “equal playing field” and the removal of all barriers to receiving educational services.
    • The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
    • The posting of homeless students’ rights in all schools and other places around

    Who Qualifies
    The law states that any student that does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate place to sleep at night qualifies for educational assistance. This includes students and families that stay at a shelter, on the street, a car, or abandoned building. Families that have lost their housing and need to double-up with friends or relatives because they cannot afford their own housing also qualify.

    Choice of Schools
    Frequently changing schools can have a negative impact on student success in the educational environment. Students that qualify for educational assistance through the McKinney-Vento Act can stay at the school they have been attending (school of origin) or transfer to the district in which they are temporarily staying. Once a family becomes permanently housed, the student may finish the school year at their current school or transfer to the new district.

    Immediate Enrollment
    School districts are required to enroll McKinney-Vento eligible students without delay. If you need assistance or have any questions please contact Dr. Candace Wells, the District’s McKinney-Vento Liaison.

    All students who qualify as homeless under McKinney-Vento have the right to receive transportation to and from the school of origin. The homeless liaison will work with the parent on transportation options.

    Free Lunch & School Fees
    All students who qualify as homeless under McKinney-Vento are eligible to receive a free breakfast and lunch each day. In addition, student educational fees will be waived by the District.

    Settling Disputes
    In the event that the District has questions about your McKinney-Vento eligibility, you will be provided with a written explanation of the District’s intent to dispute. Once you have received notice that the District has filed for dispute, please contact your regional liaison, Noelle Bradley, at 815-797-9102 or

    District 307 Homeless Liaison
    Each district is required by law to designate a local liaison for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The liaison serves as one of the primary contacts between homeless families and school staff along with other service providers. The liaison also ensures that students' rights are protected and that the district fulfills its responsibilities under the McKinney-Vento Act. Please contact Dr. Candace Wells, District 307 Homeless Liaison with questions or concerns regarding homeless services and eligibility.