Keeping Children in School
The Educational Rights of Children Experiencing Homelessness
The McKinney – Vento Act
The McKinney – Vento Act is a federal law which guarantees homeless children and youth an education equal to that which they would receive if not homeless. The law ensures that children and youth experiencing homelessness can enroll in, attend, and succeed in school.
Joe Kordalski is the designated Homeless Coordinator for USD 232. The state requires that every district assign a coordinator to serve as a link between homeless families and the school staff, district personnel, shelter workers, and various other social service providers. Please contact Joe by email or by phone, 913-667-6260, ext. 5454, with questions or concerns regarding a family with children in your school.
Who is Homeless?
The McKinney – Vento Act outlines homeless children and youth to include individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes children and youth in the following situations:
The McKinney – Vento Act also recognizes unaccompanied youth who are homeless. According to the act an unaccompanied youth is a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian. This includes youth living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets or other inadequate housing; youth denied housing by their families or teen parents living in shelters or facilities for pregnant teens.
The McKinney – Vento Act requires the immediate enrollment of homeless children and youth even if the family is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment such as; previous academic records, immunizations, proof of residency, birth certificates, or various other forms of identification. Upon enrollment it is the responsibility of the homeless coordinator to ensure that documentation normally required for enrollment is gathered and submitted in a timely manner.