McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that works to ensure educational stability for homeless youth and allows homeless students to enroll in school and receive transportation without delay. The Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”  Examples of children who fall under this definition include:

  • Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing;
  • Children living in “motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations”
  • Children living in "emergency or transitional shelters"
  • Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)
  • Children living in “cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations…”

This Act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:

  • The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment
  • The right to attend school in his/her school of origin or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing
  • The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin
  • The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services
  • The right to an “equal playing field” and the removal of all barriers to receiving educational services
  • The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
  • The posting of homeless students’ rights in all schools and other places around the community.

Every school is required by law to designate a local liaison for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The liaison works to make sure that homeless children and youth enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically. The District 58 Homeless Liaison is:

Jessica Stewart
Homeless Liaison/Assistant Superintendent for Special Services
630-719-5824 or

More resources

Learn more about the rights of McKinney-Vento eligible students and families in the resources below: