Federal guidelines seek to ensure that homeless children and youth have access to free appropriate public education on an equal basis with other children. Children who are homeless, including those living with others, may qualify for assistance with school lunch, with school supplies/materials, with tutoring, and with transportation so that they can remain in their school of origin.
You may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act if you live in any of the following situations:
· Doubled-up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship.
· A shelter.
· A motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation.
· A car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station.
As an eligible student you have a right to:
· Receive a free, appropriate public education.
· Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
· Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
· Enroll in the local school or continue attending your school of origin (the school you attended when permanently housed or the school in which you were last enrolled), if that is your preference and is feasible. If the school district believes that the school selected is not in your best interest, the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
· Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
· Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your needs as a student.
If you believe you may be eligible, contact the District’s McKinney-Vento Liaison, Courtney Stein, at (724)352-1700, ext. 4653 or [email protected]., to find out what services and supports may be available. You can also consult this McKinney Vento Basic Education Circular.
For additional questions or concerns, please contact the State Regional Coordinator for Homeless Education, Wendy Kinnear at 724-458-6700 x 1289. For more information about the McKinney-Vento Act, check out https://www.education.pa.gov/Documents/K-12/Homeless%20Education/The%20Rights%20of%20Children%20and%20Youth%20Experiencing%20Homelessness.pdf