Guidelines for Designating LEA-Level and Building-Level McKinney-Vento Liaisons

The guidelines are designed to share the relevant laws and provide a procedure to help maintain clear roles and responsibilities.

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Designating school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts can be a highly effective best practice for identifying children and youth who are experiencing homelessness, and ensuring full implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act. However, sometimes roles can become muddled. These guidelines were created in response to a request from a State McKinney-Vento Coordinator who confronted challenges clarifying lines of authority and responsibility in school districts that designate school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts (in addition to the required designation of the school district McKinney-Vento liaison).

What are Key Legal Requirements for McKinney-Vento Liaisons?

What Should LEA Administrators Consider in Designating LEA-Level and Building-Level McKinney-Vento Liaisons?

  1. As required by the McKinney-Vento Act, designate a LEA liaison able to carry out the duties outlined in the law (see page three for complete list of duties). The U.S. Department of Education set the following guidelines for LEA administrators designating liaisons[4]:

2. Inform your State Coordinator of the liaison’s name and contact information. Contact the State Coordinator every time there is turnover in that position.

3. Inform school personnel, service providers, advocates, parents, and students of the name and contact information of the liaison, as well as the liaison’s duties. This should be done through several methods to ensure the information is easily available, such as: posting on the district website; posting on the website of each individual school; including in student handbooks; including in information provided to parents and students; and sharing with community service providers through meetings and memos.

4. As required by the McKinney-Vento Act, provide training to school personnel, including building-level liaisons, registrars, secretaries, principals, counselors, social workers, transportation teams, child nutrition staff, teachers, tutors, and others.

5. Establish and publicize a protocol for how the building-level liaisons work with the LEA-level liaison. Protocols should address how children and youth experiencing homelessness will be identified, including clear procedures for addressing gray areas with the liaison prior to sharing the determination with the family or youth. Protocols and procedures must not create barriers to the identification, immediate enrollment or retention of students experiencing homelessness.

[1] 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(J)(ii).

[2] 42 USC §11432(g)(1)(J)(iv).

[3] 42 USC §11432(g)(6)(B).

[4] US Department of Education (March 2017). Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Non-Regulatory Guidance, p. 15.

42 USC §11432(g)(6)(A).