Supports for Families in Temporary Living Situations (McKinney-Vento Act)
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (1987 and reauthorized in 2001) was created to ensure the enrollment, attendance, and success of children and youth experiencing homelessness or migratory children. The intent of the Act is to remove barriers to a homeless student’s educational access and success. Specifically, Freire Charter Middle School (“Charter School”) ensures that every child or youth experiencing homelessness has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education provided to other children.
You are eligible for help from the Charter School under McKinney-Vento if you are currently lacking a fixed, regular, and night-time residence, which include the following conditions:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship.
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
- Living in emergency, transitional, or domestic violence shelters.
- Abandoned in hospitals.
- Living in public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings.
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations, or similar settings.
- Living as migratory children in conditions described in previous examples.
- Living as run-away children.
- Abandoned or forced out of homes by parents or caretakers.
- Living as school age unwed mothers in houses for unwed mothers if they have no other living accommodations.
The term “migratory children” means children who are, or whose parent or spouse are, migratory agricultural workers, including migratory dairy workers, or migratory fishermen, and who have moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain or accompany such parent or spouse, in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work.
Student and Family Rights
Under McKinney-Vento, eligible students have the right to the following:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
- Enroll in a local school or continue attending the Charter School (school of origin), if that is your preference and is feasible
- If it is determined that the school selected is not in the student’s best interest, the Charter School will provide a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal the Charter School’s decision
- Receive transportation to and from the Charter School, if requested
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your needs as a student
Below are links to resources with further information and details. Should you have any questions, please contact Freire Charter Middle School’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison, Andrea Zepp, at AndreaZ@freirecharterschool.org or 267-670-7499 x 2901.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education – Homeless Education
- Pennsylvania Department of Education – Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program Guide
- Freire Charter School Homeless Students Policy
- Resources for Freire Families and Students Experiencing Homelessness
Al Quarles, Regional ECYEH Coordinator
School District of Philadelphia
Storm Camara, State Coordinator
PA Department of Education