The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that provides rights and services for students experiencing homelessness. It applies to all local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools, including public charter schools. Authored jointly by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and SchoolHouse Connection, this toolkit is intended as a charter school-focused resource that explains the basic legal requirements of the McKinney Vento Act, while highlighting a few examples of best practices from the charter school community.
The following questions and answers were submitted by charter school staff during a webinar convened by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) and SchoolHouse Connection (SHC) in December 2019, and during in-person convenings of charter schools by SHC in early 2020.
Charter Schools and Students Experiencing Homelessness: Practices and Recommendations for Success
There are approximately 1.5 million K-12 students and an additional 1.4 million children under the age of six experiencing homelessness across the United States. While many of these students attend traditional public schools, a growing number, at least 60,000, are enrolled in charter schools. The purpose of this report is to begin to paint a clearer picture of the experiences and outcomes of students experiencing homelessness enrolled in charter schools. In this document we offer basic information about the McKinney-Vento Act, case studies highlighting best practices across charter schools and networks, and key questions for charter school educators, administrators, authorizers, support staff, advocates, and others.