The Homeless Children and Youth Program is funded by the McKinney-Vento sub-grant through the Georgia Department of Education. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was reauthorized in 2001 under No Child Left Behind. It ensures educational rights and protection for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Educational stability for the homeless child is a key element of McKinney-Vento.
Definition of "homeless children and youth" According to McKinney-Vento, the definition of "homeless children and youth" means an individual who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It includes:
Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.
Children and youth 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
Migrant children who live in the above mentioned conditions
Children and youth in homeless situations have the right to:
Attend school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
Choose between the local school where they are living or the school last attended before becoming homeless, when feasible.
Enroll in school without proof of residency, immunizations, school records, or other documents.
When attending the school of origin is determined feasible, the parent or guardian may request transportation to the school of origin.
Receive all the school services available to other students.