The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

  • The educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness are established under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This act is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in U.S. public schools. It was reauthorized as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act in January 2002 and again in December 2015 through the Every Student Succeeds Act. This federal law includes the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program that entitles children who are determined to be homeless to free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance, and success in school. To qualify for these rights, children and youth must be considered homeless according to the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless.
    The McKinney-Vento Definition is as follows:
    Children or youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. 

    Examples of living situations that may qualify a student as McKinney-Vento include, but are not limited to:


    Living with a friend, relative, or another person/family because of a loss of housing due to economic hardship


    Staying in a motel or hotel because of a loss of housing, fleeing domestic violence, or a natural disaster


    Living in a shelter


    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 shelter; runaway youth


    Youth living on their own, even if their families want them to come home.

    If you believe you or your children may be eligible, please ask your school's staff how to contact your school social worker or school counselor. Please let them know you are interested in completing a McKinney-Vento eligibility application. If you are unable to contact any of the above-mentioned school staff, please contact:

    Amanda Smith, McKinney-Vento Local Liaison


    MV Liaison


    Students determined to be eligible by the Liaison through the McKinney-Vento Act have the right to:  

    1. Receive the free, appropriate public education to which they are entitled.
    2. Be enrolled in school immediately, even if the documents normally required for enrollment are not available.  
    3. Be enrolled in school and attend classes while school staff gathers needed documents.
    4. Enroll at the school where you are currently residing or attend the school of origin - if that is preferable and is in the student's best interest.
    5. Receive a written explanation of any determination that remaining at the school of origin is not in the student's best interest, including a notification of your right to appeal the decision. 
    6. Receive educational services comparable to those provided to all other students, according to your child’s needs.  
    7. Receive free lunch and breakfast through the Child Nutrition Program.


    Students determined to be eligible by the Liaison through the McKinney-Vento Act are expected to:  

    1. Notify your school's social worker of any changes in your living circumstances before or immediately after the move.

    2. Contact your school's social worker when you will NOT be using the transportation services provided.

    3. Be available for reviews of service, needs, and eligibility status with school social work staff.

        These will occur at least annually:

    • during the Spring
    • at the time of any change in placement
    • as indicated by the school counselor or student services staff. 


     Rights - NCHE: Parent Resources  



    Youth Educational Rights Poster 

    English and Spanish Click Here



    Parent Educational Rights Posters  Click Here 

    English and Spanish    Click Here 



    Additional Information


    Homeless Students with Disabilities 


    Unaccompanied Youth and Homeless   

    Homelessness is a devastating circumstance for any child or youth, but being both homeless and separated from a parent or guardian often puts youth in inadequate and unsafe living situations and makes them at risk for school failure or dropping out—all of which can compound the effects of trauma for unaccompanied homeless youth. Unaccompanied homeless youth are ensured the same educational rights that the McKinney-Vento Act provides for other homeless students. Unaccompanied homeless youth shall be immediately enrolled without proof of guardianship. 


    The McKinney-Vento Act defines an unaccompanied youth as “a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian” (42 U.S.C. § 11434a(6)). This definition can be used to describe youth who are residing with a caregiver who is not a parent or guardian as well as youth who are living without the care of an adult.


    Only youth who are unaccompanied AND homeless qualify for assistance under the McKinney-Vento Act as unaccompanied youth.

    Local Liaisons shall assist unaccompanied homeless youth in:

    Selecting a school of attendance and enrolling in school

    Requesting transportation to and from the school of origin if requested

    If there is a dispute over school selection or enrollment, enrollment within school must occur immediately while dispute(s) are resolved.




    Additional Resources

    * College Cost Reduction and Access Act (Public Law No: 110-84)  

    * Toll-free Helpline: 800-308-2145 or 

    * dial 211

    * National Center for Homeless Education   

    * National Homeless Data 

    * NCHEP website -North Carolina Homeless Education Programs

    * NCHE website  National Center for Homeless Education




    Amanda smith

    McKinney-Vento Liaison, Cabarrus County Schools 

    Phone: (704) 796-0109





    State Coordinator, Education of Homeless Children and Youth
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
    Office of the Deputy State Superintendent of Innovation
    Federal Program Monitoring and Support Division
    Phone:(336) 543-4285

    Email: or



Data and Trends

  • Cabarrus County Schools Number of McKinney-Vento Students by School Year




    Historical Data:

    North Carolina


    National Overview -  


CCS Staff: Professional Development Opportunities

  • Cabarrus County School staff may want to know more about how to support our students in transition. The North Carolina Homeless Education Program's website provides a variety of educational opportunities through training webinars and videos to help support and continue to educate staff about our most vulnerable population.

    To learn more, please visit NCHEP by clicking here.

CCS Staff: McKinney-Vento Bus Supervisor Information

  •  McKinney-Vento Bus Supervisors and AP's of Transportation are encouraged to view the presentation below to understand their specific roles within the McKinney-Vento process.

CCS School Staff: School Nurses and McKinney-Vento

  •  Immunization Information 

    This is a quick update to remind you all that if a student does not have immunizations and is McKinney-Vento eligible we do not suspend at the 30 day mark. Instead, we must communicate, support, and assist the family to obtain the immunizations needed. If the family cannot pay for immunizations or lacks transportation, please contact or call 704.260.5685.  
    Thank you all for the great work you do to support our students and families!