Students in Transition - McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Who is considered eligible for homeless assistance and services?

Any child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular or adequate night-time residence is considered homeless and McKinney-Vento eligible for assistance and services. This includes temporarily sharing housing with others, living in bus or train stations, hotels, campgrounds, or similar settings.

If you have a child who may qualify for assistance and would like more information, please contact one of our McKinney-Vento liaisons. For Sprague, please contact Judy Boutain, at our office at 509.257.2511 or at For Lamont, please contact Janet Smith, at our office at 509.257.2463 or at

Additional information on education for homeless youth is available on the National Center for Homeless Education website.

The Office of The Superintendent of Public Instruction -- Homeless Dispute Resolution Process

Local Liaison:

Sprague: Judy Boutain (509) 257-2511

Lamont: Janet Smith (509) 257-2463

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law supporting the educational rights of students who are living in emergency, temporary and/or transitional housing situations maintain academic stability and success. The federal McKinney-Vento Act requires school districts to:

  • Ensure educational stability for students in emergency, temporary and/or transitional housing situations.

  • Ensure immediate access to school for students in emergency emergency, temporary and/or transitional housing situations.

  • Appoint a liaison for students who are eligible for McKinney-Vento services.

  • Make sure that students in emergency, temporary and/or transitional housing situations have access to Title 1 services.

If your family lives in any of the following situations:

  • In a shelter

  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation

  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or a bus or train station

  • Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship

Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.

Your eligible children have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.

  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.

  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.

  • Enroll in the school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference.

    • If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.

  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.

  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children's needs.

If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the local liaison to find out what services and supports may be available. There also may be supports available for your preschool-age children.

The following procedures are specified in McKinney-Vento and further explained in Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Dispute Resolution Process.

Helpful Links

SchoolHouse Connection:

Hidden in Plain Sight:

National Center on Homeless Education:

National Network for Youth:

DVDs for awareness-raising:

◦“The McKinney-Vento Act in Our Schools”

◦“Education and Homelessness: Young Children to Young Adults”

Sesame Street is hoping to raise awareness of homelessness and through the eyes of a child with "Lily," their newest Muppet. There are numerous printables and activities on their Communities webpage.

Sesame Street Communities - Family Homelessness

"Home is wherever the love lives."