McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act

  • The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento) is a federal law that protects the educational rights of homeless students to eliminate barriers to the enrollment, retention, and success of homeless students; and to ensure they receive equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as is provided other students.

    For more information: U.S. Department of Education - Homeless Youth

    Who is Homeless?
    According to McKinney-Vento, homeless children and youth include individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This
    includes the following situations:

    • Sharing the housing of others (known as doubling up) due to loss of housing or economic hardship;
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds;
    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
    • Abandoned in hospitals;
    • Living in a nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation;
    • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.

    McKinney-Vento also recognizes unaccompanied youth who are homeless. According to the act, an unaccompanied youth is a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian.

    Student Rights Under McKinney-Vento
    McKinney-Vento assures every student experiencing homelessness has the right to:

    • Immediate enrollment, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, or proof of residency;
    • Remain in the school of origin, if in the student’s best interest;
    • Receive transportation to/from the school of origin; and
    • Receive services comparable to services offered to other students in the District. 


    Need homeless assistance or know someone else who does?
    The homeless coordinator plays a vital role in ensuring that children and youth experiencing homelessness enroll and succeed in school. The McKinney-Vento Act requires that every school district appoint a homeless coordinator who serves as the link between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers and social service providers. The homeless coordinator is responsible for:

    • Assisting homeless children and youth with enrolling and accessing school services
    • Obtaining immunization or medical records
    • Coordinating transportation services
    • Informing parents, school personnel of the rights of homeless children and youth
    • Collaborating and coordinating with Missouri’s State homeless coordinator, the community and other school personnel
    • Handling disputes over enrollment, school placement and transportation
    • Ensuring that homeless children and youth are immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of any disputes

    To seek assistance under the McKinney-Vento Act, or to file a complaint regarding the placement or education of a homeless student, please contact:

    The School District of University Homeless Liaison:
    Mr. Gary Spiller, Executive Director of Student Services
    The School District of University City
    7700 Olive Blvd
    University City, MO 63130
    (314) 290- 4045 / gspiller@ucityschools.org

    Board of Education Policy IGBCA, Programs for Homeless Students, provides additional information regarding the District’s programs for students
    experiencing homelessness.