Misplaced and Homeless Families

If your family lives in any of the following situations:

  • In a shelter
  • A motel or campground due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
  • Doubles up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Awaiting foster care
  • Unaccompanied homeless youth: child or youth who meets the McKinney-Vento definition and is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian

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 local 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 and is feasible.
    • If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best intereste 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 Pete Wilson (608- 842-6580) to find out what services and supports may be available. There also may be supports available for your preschool-age children.

Resources for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Education for Homeless Children and Youth, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Phone: 1-800-441-4563

National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE (NCHE)


Phone: 1-800-308-2145

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)


Phone: 1-866-862-2562

Higher Education Hotline: 855-446-2673

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP)


Phone: 1-202-638-2535

National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH)


Phone: 1/202/462/4822

National Center on Family Homelessness


Phone: 1-617-964-3834