Editable “Know Your Rights” Flyers

“Know Your Rights” flyers can help get the word out about the rights of students experiencing homelessness, while also helping parents and youth understand how sharing their situation can increase access to and stability in school. We’ve created simple flyers for parents and for unaccompanied youth that can be edited for specific communities. We invite you to download and insert your logo, website, and local contact information.

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Five Questions with Tina Marie: How My Education Helped Me Push Through Adversity

Tina Marie is a SchoolHouse Connection Young Leader and the current Director of the A Bed for Every Child program at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, which seeks to provide beds for children who are living in poverty without a bed of their own. Before leading this program, she was the Coalition’s Community Organizer and Legislative Advocate, helping to manage successful public policy campaigns that directly addressed the need to prevent and end homelessness by strengthening state-funded resources for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents. During this time, Tina Marie often shared her own experiences as a homeless youth at the state and federal level to help identify the needs of youth who are at-risk of or are currently experiencing homelessness.

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A McKinney-Vento family has split up, with mother staying in District A, child staying with a family member in District B, and the school of origin in District C. In which districts can the child attend school?

Answer: Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the child has the right to remain in the school of origin (District C), or attend any school that other children living where the child is living are eligible to attend (District B). 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(A). State laws also may give...

I have a McKinney-Vento student staying with me, and he is transferring schools since he has moved. He is automatically ineligible for 50% of his wrestling matches per athletic association rules. Can you assist with a sample letter or rules/laws for McKinney-Vento students that apply to athletic participation?

Answer: Under the McKinney-Vento Act, students experiencing homelessness must be able to participate fully in athletic activities. 42 USC 11434A(1). You can read and download a brief that explains his rights here, and we also have a sample template and advocacy tools...

A McKinney-Vento parent has a little girl who is ready to go to kindergarten. Her other children attended our district, and she would like her daughter to attend our district as well. However, she is not living in our district. Can her daughter enroll in our kindergarten?

Answer: Unfortunately, the child does not have the right to enroll in your district under the McKinney-Vento Act. Your district does not meet the definition of school of origin, because the child never attended that school—it is not the school attended when...

Can McKinney-Vento funds be used for educational field trips, such as the zoo and science museums? Food, transportation, and entrance fees would need to be included. We have a summer program and would like to take the students on a field trip.

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act explicitly authorizes the use of subgrant funds for: “The provision of tutoring, supplemental instruction, and enriched educational services that are linked to the achievement of the same challenging State academic standards as the State...

A student began attending our school under Open Enrollment. The principal was just notified that the student and mother are at a local shelter, which is out of our school boundaries. Does school of origin apply, since the student originally was enrolled as an Open Enrollment student?

Answer: Yes. The open enrollment school is the school of origin--it is the school the child attended when permanently housed, and also the school in which last enrolled. 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(I)(i)-(ii). The fact that he enrolled originally under open enrollment is...

Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2016-17 school year, public schools identified more than 1.3 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require education beyond high school. Post-secondary attainment is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Unaccompanied Youth

Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year.

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