Homeless Children & Youth

Every Student Succeeds Act

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Indiana will create a plan to better align our local, state, and federal programs to help all students be successful. The Indiana Department of Education is committed to meaningfully engaging a diverse group of stakeholders through a variety of methods and opportunities to solicit thoughts, opinions, and recommendations concerning provisions in Indiana's state plan. In general, SEA's and LEA's must begin implementing the new McKinney-Vento Act requirements. As noted above, however, the ESSA amended section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act, removing "awaiting foster care placement" from the definition of "homeless children and youths". 

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Who is homeless?

Homeless students are those who lack a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence. This includes students 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 campgrounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals.

The definition includes migratory students who live in the aforementioned situations. Beginning December 10, 2016, "those awaiting foster care placement" are not included in the definition. 

The education provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act, which are now incorporated within No Child Left Behind, ensure educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The law directly applies to homeless unaccompanied youth who also receive some special attention within the Act. 

The Act's Key Provisions: 

The McKinney-Vento Act (Section 725) specifies and protects the rights of children and youth in homeless situations. Highlights include: 

  • Immediate Enrollment -The right to be enrolled immediately in school without immunization or academic records, and birth certificate, regardless of district policy.  
  • Choice of Schools - A student experiencing homelessness has two choices in deciding which school to attend: 
  • Transportation - Students in highly mobile or homeless situations are entitled to transportation to and from the school of origin, if it is feasible, in the student's best interest, and requested by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth. 
  • Services - Students experiencing homelessness are entitled to the same programs and services that are available to other children in the District, such as gifted and talented education, special education, vocational education, English Language Learners services, and tutoring. Students are automatically eligible for Title 1 services and Districts must set aside funds as necessary to provide services. 
  • Dispute Resolution - If problems arise between the school and parents or between districts, the parent shall be referred to the school's homeless liaison. In the meantime, the student must remain in school and receive transportation. 
  • Homeless Students' Rights

For more information contact:

Rochelle Brown, MSA

Homeless & Foster Coordinator
McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison
South Bend Community School Corporation
215 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46601
574-393-3834 (direct)
574-393-8059 (fax)
[email protected]


Ms. Flora Jones

Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities

Charie Gibson

Homeless Education Specialist

Indiana Department of Education

Homeless Education Team
[email protected]



Additional parent resources can be found here:

Indiana Department of Education McKinney-Vento Program for Homeless Children and Youth