Fixing the FAFSA for Homeless Youth

Fixing the FAFSA for Homeless Youth: Congress Begins HEA Reauthorization with Testimony from a SHC Leader Image above: Witnesses at the November 27 Senate Committee Hearing on FAFSA Homelessness, lack of education, and poverty are inextricably linked. Recent research...

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We’re getting resistance to doing special education evaluations for McKinney-Vento students who have changed schools frequently or missed a lot of school. What are the rules about evaluating such students?

Answer: The US Department of Education has emphasized that highly mobile children should have timely and expedited evaluations and eligibility determinations. The Department also has clarified that “once parental consent has been obtained for an initial evaluation to...

Is taking away bus privileges as a form of discipline something that would impede or cause a barrier to a student’s access to education? Does it matter if the students live within walking distance to school?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act requires LEAs to provide transportation to and from the school of origin. At the same time, the McKinney-Vento Act does not override school discipline (as long as the reason for the discipline is not related to the student’s...

Can you provide more information about the parameters of “substandard” housing?

Answer: The US Department of Education has provided guidance on this term: “In determining whether a child or youth is living in “substandard housing,” an LEA may consider whether the setting in which the family, child, or youth is living lacks one of the fundamental...

Are there resources to help train staff to identify homelessness and McKinney-Vento eligibility?

Answer: SchoolHouse Connection has template Power Points and other training tools on its website, which include slides and information on identification. They can be found at https://www.schoolhouseconnection.org/learn/k-12/. The National Center for Homeless Education...

What are ways districts notify families that they are able to access supports through McKinney-Vento?

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act requires liaisons to ensure that “public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such children and youths, and unaccompanied youths, including...

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 2014-15 school year, public schools identified more than 1.2 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 at least a Bachelor’s degree. A college degree is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.


Robust community partnerships, including housing, health care, nutrition, transportation, and other services, provide essential supports for children and youth to grow and thrive.

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