On July 22, 1987, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law that addressed homelessness in America. IOn December 10, 2015, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Under the previous version of ESEA (the No Child Left Behind Act), the education of homeless children and youth was included in Title X, Part C. Under ESSA, homeless education is included in Title IX, Part A.
Provisions of the Act:
• Homeless children have the right to attend either their original school or the school in the area in which they currently reside for the duration of their homelessness, or
until the end of the school year if the family finds permanent housing.
• Schools are to immediately enroll homeless children and unaccompanied youth, even if they are unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, and any other required documentation.
• In the case where the educating district is different than the district where the student is temporarily residing, both school districts are responsible for the facilitation of transportation in the best interest of the student.
• Immediately upon enrollment, homeless students are entitled to receive a daily, free school lunch.
Administration of the Program:
The Pennsylvania’s Education for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness initiative is administered by the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV in collaboration with the School District of the City of Erie, the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5, & Riverview Intermediate Unit 6.