The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve students experiencing homelessness.

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homelessness as "lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." Some examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason

  • Children and youth living in motels, hotel, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations

  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters

  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals

  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)

  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations

  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

Rights of the Student:

Under the McKinney-Vento Act you have a right to an education without barriers, which means you can: 

  • Enroll regardless of ability to present student records and immunizations

  • Receive assistance with securing necessary school and medical documents, records, and immunizations

  • Attend school of origin or school of residence

  • Continue attending school of origin for the remainder of the school year after permanent housing is secured

  • Gain equal access to programs available to other students (EL, Title 1, Special Education)

  • District transportation to/from school of origin/residence

  • Receive free school meals

  • Be referred to community resources and agencies

For more information:

OSPI- State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

NCHE- National Center for Homeless Education

Mount Vernon School District Liaison
Stephanie Thomas, 360-428-6110

Community Agencies & Resources

Community Action of Skagit County

Brigid Collins

Oasis Teen Shelter

Friendship House

Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services

Early Childhood Education Information

Childcare Aware of Northwest Washington

Washington Connection--Childcare Vouchers 

Skagit / Island Head Start and ECEAP

Skagit Public Health--Child and Family Health Division

United Way of Skagit County--Early Learning Resources

Northwest Early Learning--Student and Family Resources

Thrive Washington--Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Nutrition and Basic Needs

Diaper Bank of Skagit County

Helping Hands Food Bank

Skagit Valley Neighbors in Need

Community Action Food Bank Distribution Center

Skagit Gleaners

United Way of Skagit County--Cutting Hunger on Weekends (CHOW)


Policy and Procedure

3115 Homeless Students Enrollment Rights and Services
3115P Homeless Students Enrollment Rights and Services