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The McKinney Vento Act is a federal law passed to help families who are homeless keep their children in school.

In January of 2002, Congress authorized the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act to support the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.  The federal law entitles children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence to a free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance and success in school.  The McKinney-Vento Program meets the needs of homeless students attending Alexander County Schools by addressing academic challenges and family issues affecting their success in school.

Definition of homelessness:  The law defines a child or youth as homeless as one who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate residence.  The following living situations may qualify under McKinney-Vento law:

  • Living with a friend, relative or someone else because they lost their home.
  • Staying in a motel or hotel.
  • Living in an emergency or transitional shelter or domestic violence shelter.
  • Staying in substandard housing.
  • Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station.
  • Living temporarily in substandard housing.
  • Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home.
  • Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter.
  • Youth living on their own or has left a permanent living situation.



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