ESHC developed an Educational Advocacy initiative to improve the coordination, consistency, and quality of educational services offered to homeless children and youth. Early intervention and assessment testing of homeless school children is the primary focus of this initiative. ESHC works closely with local agencies to develop and maintain an efficient method to track homeless children.
As part of this initiative, in the fall of 2012 ESHC coordinated "Conversations for Education": A 6 part series of discussions revolving around the topic of homeless students. For more information about "Conversations for Education", click here.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in January 2002 as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth in homeless situations. The main themes of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act are the identification of homeless students, school stability, school access, and support for academic success.
Students who are homeless face many barriers including meeting enrollment requirements (school and health records, proof of residence and guardianship) and lack of school stability, educational continuity, transportation, and school supplies. Many homeless students must also deal with poor health, fatigue, hunger, prejudice, and misunderstanding. Local Homeless Education Liaisons (LEAs) are appointed in each county to ensure that homeless students are identified and enrolled in school and have full equal opportunity to succeed. LEAs also link students with education services (including preschool and health services), resolve disputes, and assist with transportation issues. Through the Liaisons, students can also have access to free lunch, backpacks, school supplies, and referral sources.
To download the "McKinney-Vento Act in Our Schools" discussion guide and/or to purchase the video series on DVD, published by NAEHCY, please go to www.naehcy.org/dvds.html.