Answer: Your state MV representative is exactly right. School of origin is defined in the McKinney-Vento Act as “the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including a preschool.” This is in the law in section 722(g)(3)(I).

You described a situation of a student who was enrolled in District A in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Then, the family moved across the state, and the student enrolled in District B. He was enrolled there for about a month and has not been enrolled anywhere since spring of last year. The family is now staying temporarily in a motel in District C (which happens to be a relatively short distance from District A). The family reports that they plan to return to the District A area and would like the student to enroll there if possible. They say that they have multiple apartment applications that they are awaiting the call back for in District A and that is also where they have family and friends. The only reason they are not in a motel in that area is that there are no motels available there.

In this situation, it sounds like District A was the school the child attended when permanently housed. So the child has the right to return there now, if that is in the child’s best interest. Considering the child attended there for a long time, the family is looking for housing in that district, the distance is relatively short, and how much time the child has been out of school, it seems like the stability of returning to District A would be in his best interest.

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