What is homeless education?

Students experiencing homelessness have the same rights to a free appropriate public education as their fellow classmates. Our homeless education specialists offer guidance and support to school districts and open charter schools and help them address their obligation to serve homeless students. We inform districts and charters about the requirement in removing barriers to the identification, enrollment, attendance, and success in school for students experiencing homelessness.

Who is considered homeless?  

The McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program is the federal program that removes barriers to education for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless: means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime  residence. This includes children and youth who are:

All Local Education Agencies (LEAs), also referred to as school districts, are required by the McKinney-Vento Act to designate a district liaison to assist children and youth experiencing homelessness with enrollment in school, as well as ensuring the students receive the services they are entitled to.
For more information, contact your local McKinney-Vento Liaison or reach out to Region 8 ESC by emailing mcalixto@reg8.net.

Homeless Student Enrollment  

Students who are experiencing homelessness are to be enrolled immediately. Districts cannot require students experiencing homelessness to provide proof of residency, immunizations, birth certificates guardianship documents, or any other sort of required paperwork before enrolling. Requiring missing paperwork or any other delay to enrollment is a violation of the McKinney-Vento Act. 

TEHCY Webinars & Resources

Webinar - September 27, 2022 Objective: To review the key requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the roles and responsibilities of school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to support students experiencing homelessness.  

Webinar - December 12, 2022  Objective: To review state provisions that assist school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to support students experiencing homelessness. 

PDF Sample  
This document will help you gather information to help you determine if the student meets eligibility requirements for services under the McKinney-Vento Act. 

Transition Assitance Toolkit
This series of one-pagers guides school districts with implementing the transition assistance requirements for students who are in foster care or experiencing homelessness.(TAC § 89.1605)  

McKinney-Vento Posters

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released two versions of the McKinney-Vento posters.  One to assist parents of school-age youth and a second to assist unaccompanied youth.  The posters are available in both English and Spanish. 

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can download the digital files below and post this information on their LEA homeless education program webpage.  LEAs should collaborate with their school staff and community partners (e.g. food pantries, faith-based organizations, local housing authorities, shelters, etc.) to share printed copies of this poster. 

Community Resources

Marilú Calixto-Cruz

Region 8 Education Service Center
Regional McKinney-Vento Liaison

Christina Servin

State & Federal Programs Administrative Assistant