EDUCATION RIGHTS OF HOMELESS STUDENTS A GUIDE FOR ADVOCATES Revised 2017
There is no question that students who experience homelessness, like all students, are entitled to be educated. A federal law, known as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, requires states to provide homeless children and youth with the same access to free appropriate public education as is available to other students. The Act also requires states to review and revise barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance or success in school of homeless students, to avoid the segregation of homeless students from the mainstream school environment, and to provide access to the education and services needed to ensure that homeless students have an opportunity to meet the same challenging academic achievement standards to which all students are held. 1 The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), aimed at ensuring all students access to a high-quality education, requires states and local school districts to annually publish data about the academic achievement of various subgroups of students; homeless students are now a separate subgroup for which such data (including high school graduation rates) must be reported annually, enhancing the accountability of school districts serving these students.