Institutional Education Programs
Education for Homeless Children and Youth
Each year, more than 1.35 million children nationwide 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.
The West Virginia Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all West Virginia children and youth experiencing homelessness have the opportunity to enroll, attend and succeed in school.
McKinney-Vento is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in U.S. public schools. It was reauthorized as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act in January 2002. As a part of the McKinney-Vento Act 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 West Virginia Department of Education currently is funding 18 grants. The grants are funded on a three year cycle. 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 also must 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.