Ensuring access to education is an essential element of resettlement. Finding affordable housing is a significant challenge in most communities in the U.S., and at times, clients may be unhoused or in temporary housing. This guide discusses school enrollment for children and youth who are facing this circumstance.
The McKinney-Vento/Homeless Assistance Act is a U.S. federal law that helps ensure the rights of unhoused children, or those that are in temporary housing, to access and maintain public school enrollment. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” Under federal law, Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA)clients staying in hotels paid for by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) qualify under McKinney-Vento as “homeless.”
This guide includes suggestions for getting started in McKinney-Vento enrollment, tips for discussing this topic with families, responses to common challenges, such as age discrepancies and emergency contacts, and an extensive resource list.