Definition of McKinney-Vento Act

42 U.S. Code § 11431 – Statement of policy
The following is the policy of the Congress:

(1)Each State educational agency shall ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.

(2)In any State where compulsory residency requirements or other requirements, in laws, regulations, practices, or policies, may act as a barrier to the identification of, or the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of, homeless children and youths, the State educational agency and local educational agencies in the State will review and undertake steps to revise such laws, regulations, practices, or policies to ensure that homeless children and youths are afforded the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths.

(3)Homelessness is not sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment.

(4)Homeless children and youths should have access to the education and other services that such children and youths need to ensure that such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic standards to which all students are held.


Eligibility Under McKinney–Vento

A student is considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. A student may be considered eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act if he or she is presently living:

  • •In temporary shared housing, a shelter, or transitional living program
  • •At a bus station, park, car, or abandoned building
  • •Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • •Living in motels, hotels, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • •Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • •Living in a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • •Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • •Migratory children living in the above circumstances
  • •Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances

Download NCHE Parent Right Brochure


In addition to the provisions that apply to all homeless students, the McKinney-Vento Act includes the following provisions specifically for unaccompanied youth:
  • • Unaccompanied homeless youth shall be immediately enrolled without proof of guardianship.
  • • During a dispute over school selection or enrollment, unaccompanied homeless youth shall receive a written statement explaining the school’s decision, the youth’s right to appeal the decision, and a referral to the local liaison.
Youth Educational Rights Posters
Parent Educational Rights Posters
Local Liaisons shall assist unaccompanied homeless youth in: 
  • • Selecting a school of attendance and enrolling in school.
  • • Requesting transportation t and from the school of origin.
  • • Enrolling in school immediately while disputes are resolved.

Please direct all questions about eligibility and services to:

Alpha Academy Inc. , Michelle Palmer | Site Administrator

Phone: (910)-223-7711 Ext 201


Additional McKinney-Vento information and homeless data:
NC Homeless Education Program
Lisa Phillips
State Coordinator for Homeless Education
Phone: (336) 315-7491

NCHEP “About” web page:

National Center for Homeless Education
National Homeless Data

North Carolina Data