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The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, or ESSA, was signed this December establishing it as the national law governing elementary and secondary education. Among its provisions, ESSA includes amendments to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, which guarantees homeless children and youth the right to a public education.
In light of those changes, which will go into effect later this year, the National Center for Homeless Education has updated its brief, “The Educational Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness: What Service Providers Need to Know” (PDF, 939 KB). The five-page resource begins with the revised definition of “homeless children and youth” under the McKinney-Vento Act. Service providers should exclusively use this definition to secure educational services for homeless children and youth, the authors advise, because it is broader than the definitions used by other federal agencies.
Other topics include homeless young people’s educational rights and entitled services, and the role homeless education liaisons play addressing student needs and removing barriers to educational success. The brief also includes the following suggestions to service providers seeking to coordinate services more effectively:
Ask your local homeless education liaison to provide your staff with training on the McKinney-Vento Act.
Offer to train local school district staff on your organization’s services for homeless children, youth, and families.
Check in regularly with your local homeless education liaison to share what’s working and what efforts are needed to address any unmet needs or service barriers.
Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.