Vermont's Education for Homeless Children and Youth program provides federal support to ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate, public education – including public preschool – provided to other Vermont children, with the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and student performance standards. The program requires the removal of barriers to the enrollment, attendance and success of homeless children and youth in school. Technical assistance and support to local education agencies (LEAs) is provided for the implementation of the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act.
States and school districts across the country are taking steps to address the needs of students who have been left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. We applaud their efforts and encourage them to review, as needed, the Department’s previously issued guidance on the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.
Each year, over 800,000 children and youth in the United States experience homelessness. Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is intended to ensure that homelessness does not cause these children to be left behind in school.
Formula grants are made to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico based on each State's share of Title I funds. The outlying areas and the Bureau of Indian Affairs also receive funds. Among other things, the program supports an Office for Coordination of Education of Homeless Children and Youths in each State, which gathers comprehensive information about homeless children and youths and the impediments to their regular attendance at school. These grants also help State educational agencies ensure that homeless children, including preschoolers and youths, have equal access to free and appropriate public education. States must review and revise laws and practices that impede such equal access. States are required to have an approved plan for addressing problems associated with the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children in school. States must also make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies to facilitate the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youths. This includes addressing problems due to transportation needs, immunization and residency requirements, lack of birth certificates and school records, and guardianship issues.