ROE # 17 school districts shall provide an educational environment that treats all students with dignity and respect. Every homeless student shall have equal access to the same free and appropriate educational opportunities as students who are not homeless. This commitment to the educational rights of homeless children, youth, and youth not living with a parent or guardian applies to all services, programs, and activities provided or made available, as prescribed in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Homeless Definition Under the McKinney-Vento Act
According to the federal McKinney-Vento Act, a family and the children of the family are considered in transition (or homeless) if they and/or their children:
(A) Lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
(B) This includes—
(1) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason…
(2) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings …
(3) children who are unaccompanied youth, which includes youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian…
(4) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(5) migratory children.
Rights of Children of Families in Transition (or homeless)
Children in this situation are entitled to:
(A) Immediate Enrollment -The right to be enrolled immediately in school, without medical or academic records, regardless of district policy.
(B) Choice of Schools -The homeless child has three choices:
School of Origin - The School the child last attended.
School of Origin - The school the child attended when he/she became homeless
The school closest to temporary housing
(C) Transportation - Homeless children are entitled to the same rights to transportation as other children in their district. School districts are responsible for transportation costs.
(D) Services - Homeless children are entitled to the same services that are available to other children in their districts.
(E) They qualify for wavier fees and free and reduced lunch. “School fees” that are waived include, but are not limited to: Charges for text books, instructional materials, locks, towels, lab equipment, field trips, for uniforms or equipment related to sports or fine arts programs, supplies related to a particular class such as shop, home economics, lab, and art. Fees for graduation like cap and gowns, school records, health services, and driver’s education.
(F) Dispute Resolution - If problems arise between the school and parents or between districts, the parent shall be referred to an intermediary in each Regional Office of Education. In the meantime, the child must remain in school and receive transportation.
ROE # 17 Homeless Liaison
If you are experiencing homelessness and you have a child(ren) enrolled in an ROE #17 school, please contact your school district homeless liaison. School district liaisons seeking assistance with homeless families should please contact:
Kayla Arnolts, Regional Homeless Services & Program Support Specialist
309-888-5120 ext. 1222
School district MKV liaisons in the ROE service area can access the ROE #17 MKV Resources - Google Shared Drive here.
Resources for Families in Transition
ROE # 17 school districts can access funding, if available, by contacting the ROE # 17 liaison. The liaison also maintains an extensive database of community organizations and resources throughout DeWitt, Livingston, Logan, and McLean counties.