Homeless/McKinney-Vento Information

PA's Education for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH)

McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act

  • The McKinney-Vento Act defines "homeless children and youths"as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:
    • Children and youths who are:
    • sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as "doubled-up");
    • living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
    • abandoned in hospitals;
    • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
    • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
    • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

Role of District/Local Liaison:

  • Local liaisons must ensure that:
    • Homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
    • Homeless children and youths are enrolled in, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the school or schools of the LEA;
    • Homeless families and homeless children and youths have access to and receive educational services for which such families, children, and youths are eligible, including services through Head Start programs (including Early Head Start programs), early intervention services under Part C of the IDEA, and other preschool programs administered by the LEA;
    • Homeless families and homeless children and youths receive referrals to health, dental, mental health, and substance abuse services, housing services, and other appropriate services;
    • Parents or guardians of homeless children and youths are informed of educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
    • Public notice of the educational rights of homeless students is disseminated in locations frequented by parents and guardians of such children and youths, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians and unaccompanied youths;
    • Enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act;
    • Parents and guardians and unaccompanied youths are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to and from the school of origin and are assisted in accessing transportation services;
    • School personnel receive professional development and other support; and
    • Unaccompanied youths are enrolled in school, have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youths, and are informed of their status as independent students under section 480 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1087vv), and their right to receive verification of this status from the local liaison.

Dispute Resolution Process

If a dispute arises over eligibility, enrollment or school selection:

1. The parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth shall be referred to the district's liaison or designee, who shall assist in the dispute resolution process. 

2. The child or youth shall be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals. 

3. The district's liaison or designee shall issue a written decision of the dispute within twenty (20) business days of being notified of the dispute. A parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth may appeal a district's written decision or file a complaint with the Coordinator of Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program. 


District Homeless Liaison

Christa Snyder, M.Ed - Assistant to the Superintendent for Academic Operations

Phone: (717) 957-6000, option 5