Federal Law

McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.)
McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the first significant federal legislative response to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in U.S. Public schools. It was reauthorized in 2002 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Click here to download the full text of the Act

Click here to download the 2004 USDE Federal Guidance on the McKinney-Vento Act. 2004 USDE guidance on McKinney-Vento Act

Click here to download NAEHCY’s and NLCHP’sThe Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Education Right of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations

State Law

RCW 28A.225.215 Enrollment of children without legal residences.

  1. A school district shall not require proof of residency or any other information regarding an address for any child who is eligible by reason of age for the services of the school district if the child does not have a legal residence.
  2. A school district shall enroll a child without a legal residence under subsection (1) of this section at the request of the child or parent or guardian of the child.

WAC 392-400-325 – Statewide definition of excused and unexcused daily absences.
Absence directly related to the student’s homeless status are excused.

Other Relevant Laws and Regulations

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Federal law that ensures public schools serve the educational needs of students with disabilities.

For more information about IDEA, you can access the full text of the Act here.

Special educators, early intervention, providers and homeless liaisons may want to review the Department of Education document Questions and Answers on Special Education and Homelessness

National Center on Homeless Education’s brief on Supporting Homeless Students with Disabilities.

For parents in Washington State please download Protecting the Educational Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Schools on the Office of the Education Ombudsman’s website.

Title I

Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

For more information about how Title I funds can be used to help homeless students, please read NCHE’s brief Serving Students Experiencing Homelessness under Title I, Part A.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records.

Head Start Act
Promotes school readiness of low-income children ages birth to five. For more information about the Head Start Act and the Head Start program please visit the Office of Head Start.

Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act authorizes federal funding for the Basic Center Program, the Transitional Living Program, and the Street Outreach Program to assist runaway and homeless youth.

For more information about runaway and homeless youth programs, please visit the website of the Family and Youth Services Bureau.