McKinney – Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program
Homeless students are entitled to choice of school, immediate enrollment, transportation, and dispute resolution. These rights were originally legislated at the state and federal level almost 20 years ago. Each school district must designate an individual to be responsible for identifying homeless students and assisting them so they might have every opportunity to meet the high academic standards expected of all students.
The law says that any student that lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is homeless. This includes youth in shelters, motels, campgrounds, trailer parks and those that are living with relatives or friends due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason. This includes hidden homeless – those who are constantly moving from one place to another without a permanent, adequate nighttime residence.
The Opening Doors – Homeless project is an Illinois State Board of Education grant funded project under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program. The goal of this statewide initiative is to disseminate information to Illinois schools and shelters as to the educational right and needs of homeless children and youth. Each regional office has a homeless liaison which in turn disseminates information to the designated local school liaison, which has direct access to the schools, children, and youth in their districts.
Use the links below to find resources for children and families:
Homeless Education Liaison – Krista Kunz, 217-243-1804, firstname.lastname@example.org
Franklin/Alexander School District – Andy Stremlau, 217-478-3-11, email@example.com
Jacksonville School District – Sara Raynor, 217-245-7005, firstname.lastname@example.org
http://homelessed.net :Opening Doors: Statewide Access to Education for Homeless Children and Youth
http://www.serve.org/nche/ :National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
http://www.nlchp.org :National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
http://nationalhomeless.org/ :National Coalition for the Homeless
http://naehcy.org :National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth