The McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.) is a federal law that addresses the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The law defines homeless to include the following temporary living situations due to hardship:
- Living with a friend, relative or other person
- Hotel or motel
- Shelter or transitional housing
- Car, park or other public place
- Campground or inadequate home
- Youth living on their own, runaway youth or youth kicked out
The McKinney-Vento Act addresses educational challenges created by homelessness and guarantees students the right to enroll, attend, and succeed in school. The law places the responsibility for guaranteeing the rights of students experiencing homelessness on states and school districts (NCHE, 2014).
As a requirement of the federal law, all public school districts in the United States must appoint a liaison that will ensure compliance with the federal law.