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
Tina Vinnick 360-404-0293

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