Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness: McKinney-Vento


What is McKinney-Vento?

The McKinney–Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act guarantees a free and appropriate public education for all children and youth experiencing homelessness. B.E.C. 42 U.S.C. 11431 outlines procedures for deciding school placement, enrolling students, and determining responsibility. The federal and state laws pertaining to McKinney-Vento make our responsibility clear.

What is the definition of a “homeless youth” under McKinney-Vento?

“Homeless” is defined as “anyone lacking a fixed, adequate, regular nighttime residence.”

What situations fit this definition?

  • Staying in the home of other people due to unavailable housing, financial hardship, eviction or similar circumstances
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks (in some instances – examples: leaking roof, no heat, etc.), public places, or campgrounds due to unavailable suitable housing options
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing
  • Unaccompanied (not living in direct care of legal parent or guardian) or runaway youth
  • Refugee and migrant youth


How does McKinney-Vento help these students?

The law ensures that students experiencing homelessness receive a free and suitable public education by removing barriers to school enrollment including full, daily participation in school activities. This includes:

  • Immediate enrollment
  • Free and reduced school lunch
  • Help from school/district with any necessary enrollment documents
  • Help from school/district in setting up transportation service (if the student qualifies)
  • Help from school/district with basic school supplies
  • Help from school/district with any basic clothing needs
  • Help from school/district with basic high school graduation needs and expenses


Where can I find more information for Pennsylvania?

For more information, visit the PA Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness website. For additional questions, please contact one of the following people listed below.

Dr. Mike McKenna
NPSD Chief Academic Officer and McKinney-Vento Liaison
(215) 853-1045
[email protected]

Mr. Steve Duff
NPSD Home and School Visitor
[email protected]

Steve Christman
NPSD Home and School Visitor
[email protected]

Kathy Birsa
Site Coordinator
[email protected]

Michelle Connor
Regional Coordinator
[email protected]