McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness program (ECYEH) is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and is based on the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This federal legislation ensures that homeless children and youth have access to a free, appropriate, public education. 

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act 

Children and youth are eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act if they have been displaced from their homes and are living in a place that is not fixed, regular, or adequate, such as: 

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason 
  • In a place not designated as regular sleeping accommodation, such as a vehicle, park, hotel, or campground 
  • In a homeless or domestic violence shelter or transitional housing placement 
  • Outside of his/her home as an unaccompanied youth 
  • In any of the situations listed above as the child of a migrant family 

Your Rights

Under McKinney-Vento, children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to: 

  • 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 the local school or continue attending your school of origin (the school you attended when permanently housed or the school in which you were last enrolled), if that is your preference and is feasible. If the school district believes that the school selected is not in your best interest, the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision. 
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this. 
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your needs as a student.

If you believe your child may be eligible, contact our local liaison to find out what services and supports may be available. There also may be supports available for your preschool-age children.

WPSD Homeless Liaison

Alexis Adams
717-789-3934 ext 5506
Email: [email protected] 

Additional resources related to the McKinney-Vento act:
West Perry School District Board Policy 251, which outlines the process for enrolling students experiencing homelessness including the dispute resolution process.

Pa Department of Education page which contains links to the Basic Education Circulars (BEC), the state plan, program fact sheets, the dispute resolution process and other information.