McKinney Vento Act

The McKinney-Vento Act is a law that protects the rights of homeless students to attend school. For the purpose of this law, a student is homeless if they lack a residence that is:

  • fixed (stationary, permanent, and not subject to change),
  • regular (used on a nightly basis), and
  • adequate (sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments)

For example, students who are living in the housing of others due to economic hardship; in a motel, campsite, or car; in a shelter; in an abandoned building; or in a public park or train station are all considered homeless.

Under the law, homeless students have the right to either remain in their school of origin or attend school where they are temporarily residing. In addition, the school district has an obligation to ensure that homeless students are able to access Federal, State, and local food programs.