When is a student considered homeless under the federal law known as the McKinney-Vento Act?

A student is considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act if the student lives in a shelter, is "doubled up" with other relatives, lives in temporary housing, or is "couch surfing." Under the McKinney-Vento Act, students experiencing homelessness have the right to stay in their current school, even if they no longer live in the same neighborhood, or immediately enroll in a new school. The law also provides additional services to support students to be successful.

Students who are experiencing homelessness and living on their own qualify as homeless and are referred to as "unaccompanied homeless youth." Homeless students have a legal right to attend school until the end of the school term in which they turn 21.


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