McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act: Serving Students Experiencing Homelessness

The Board recognizes its obligation to ensure that homeless students have access to the same educational programs and services provided to other district students. The Board shall make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children within the district, encourage their enrollment, and eliminate existing barriers to their attendance and education, in compliance with federal and state law and regulations.

The Board may waive policies, procedures and administrative guidelines that create barriers for enrollment, attendance, transportation and success in school of homeless students, based on the recommendation of the Superintendent.

Every state is required to have a coordinator for the education of homeless children and youth, and every school district is required to have a liaison for homeless students. These individuals will assist you with the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act. To find out who your state coordinator is, visit the NCHE website at

For further information on the McKinney-Vento Act and resources for implementation, call the NCHE Help Line at 800-308-2145 or e-mail

Local contact information: 
District Homeless Liaison
Mrs. Amy Herman, Director of Student Services
301 E Spruce Street
Titusville, PA 16354
Telephone:  814-827-2715 Ext. 8-3421

Who Is Homeless?

To establish laws that will protect the educational rights of homeless children, a clear definition had to be established. Both that definition and the laws governing the education of homeless youth are provided here.Who Is Homeless? – Federal Guidelines
According to the Federal Guideline on the Definition of Homelessness, the following applies:

  • Children in foster care should not be considered homeless.
  • Children who have been placed by the state in transitional or emergency shelters should be considered homeless if the placement is of a transitional nature.
  • Children who are runaways should be considered homeless.
  • Children who are “throwaway children” should be considered homeless.
  • All abandoned children are homeless until a fixed, regular, and adequate residence is obtained.
  • Some children who live with friends or relatives should be considered homeless, depending on their reasons for living with the friends or relatives, and the permanence of the living arrangements.
  • Children who are living in families that are doubled-up or tripled-up with other families can be considered homeless, depending on the specific circumstances.
  • The children of migrant workers may be homeless if they meet the McKinney definition; however, many children who qualify for migrant services reside in a fixed, regular, and adequate residence and should not be considered homeless.

For more information contact the National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE at:

Homelessness and the Law

The McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77) was passed by Congress in 1987 to aid homeless persons.  It was reauthorized on July 1, 2002 under the No Child Left Behind Act.

For more information, contact the National Law Center at

Related Documents

Education of Homeless Youth
This Basic Education Circular (BEC) explains the categories of children who are “homeless” and entitled to the protections of the federal law.

TASD Policy – Homeless Students

Homeless Education Procedure Manual

McKINNEY-VENTO 2001—LAW INTO PRACTICE – Local Educational Agency Liaisons
This brief explains the legislation and offers strategies for implementing it in a school district.

The Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Web Resources

Meeting the Educational Needs of Pennsylvania’s Homeless Children and Youth
The main purpose of the Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is to make sure homeless youth have access to free and appropriate public education while removing barriers that homeless children face.

Pennsylvania Department of Education Homeless Resources
Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Allegheny IU 3
Education for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness Resource Center

National Center for Homeless Education
NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education.

Wendy Kinnear
Regional Site Coordinator
Telephone:  724-458-6700 x1289