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What is McKinney-Vento?

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve students who are homeless.  It allows children and youth experiencing homelessness to immediately enroll in school, to stay in school by providing them with transportation to and from school, and to succeed in school by making sure they have other appropriate services.

This law is important because it recognizes that not having a stable place to sleep at night, lacking a place to do homework, or moving frequently in search of housing has a profound impact on a child’s ability to learn and to succeed in school. For this reason, McKinney-Vento defines and recognizes as homeless a broad range of unstable or transitional living situations that may affect a child’s ability to focus on school.