All children of school age who are homeless are entitled to the same free and appropriate public education that is provided for non-homeless students. Schools are required to remove any barriers, including enrollment, attendance, and academic success of homeless students.
Definition of Homeless
The Mckinney-Vento Assistance Act ensures that children and youth, considered homeless or living in transitional housing, have the same educational rights and protection as all other school children and youth. Students who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, which includes:
- Living in a car, park, RV park, campsite, or similar location, hotel or motel, homeless shelter, or transitional housing.
- Children or youth living in bus stations, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. Children or youth living in a shed or uncovered garage.
- Unaccompanied minors (children & youth under the age of 18, not in the physical custody of a parent or court appointed guardian).
- Migratory children or youth who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances as homeless children and youth.
School Selection & Student Rights
A homeless student can attend the last school of enrollment, if feasible, or a homeless student can attend the school in the area where the family is temporarily residing.
- Students can remain at selected school site throughout the duration of homelessness. The school site is considered the school of origin.
- If the family gains permanent housing, the student can remain at the current school for the duration of that academic year.
- Homeless students who are not attending their school of residence do not have the right to attend the next matriculating school. The student must attend the school in the area in which he/she/they are temporarily residing.
Schools must immediately enroll homeless students, regardless of the lack of:
- Academic Records
- Proof of Residency
- Medical Records
- Immunization Records
The enrolling school should immediately contact the last school of attendance to obtain missing records.
McKinney-Vento Liason Contact Information
Cassandra Ziskind Ed. D.
Director of Student Services
Carmel Unified School District
(831) 624-1546 ext.2081
Program Coordinator, Homeless Services for Children and Youth
Monterey County Offices of Education
(831) 755-0300 ext. 129
Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal offers free or low cost health coverage for California residents who meet eligibility requirements including children and low-income adults. (877) 410-8823 https://www.medi-cal.ca.gov/
CalFRESH: The CalFRESH Program is designed to supplement the food budget of low-income households to meet their nutritional needs. (866) 323-1953 https://www.cdss.ca.gov/calfresh
CDPH: Provides comprehensive wellness exams, immunizations, and lab exams for children and youth. (831) 755-4960
Housing Resource Center: Assistance with utility bills, evictions, first month's rent and security deposit, referrals to services, homeless set-aside vouchers for single parents with 3 or more kids and disabled clients who cannot work. (831) 424-986 ext.17
Salvation Army: Offers assistance directly to families with recreation programs, food assistance, housing assistance, and activity centers (831) 443-9655