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ERIC Number: ED574610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Navigating the Intersections of the Mckinney-Vento Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Coordination to Help Homeless Children and Youth with Disabilities. Best Practices in Homeless Education Brief Series
National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Each year, over 1.2 million children and youth identified as homeless in the nation's schools experience the educational disruption that is caused by not having a safe and stable place to live (NCHE, 2014). Homeless children and youth face educational challenges that include a lack of basic necessities, such as food, clothing, and medical services; discontinuity of education due to mobility; and trauma caused by the chaos, poverty, and instability of their family's circumstances, or in the case of an unaccompanied homeless youth, their own circumstances. Many homeless children and youth have disabilities that create additional challenges for educational progress. Educational barriers homeless children and youth with disabilities face include: (1) not being identified as needing special education services; (2) difficulty with diagnosis due to mobility and other stressors; (3) lack of timely assessment, diagnosis, and service provision; (4) lack of continuity of services due to school transfers; (5) lack of timely or efficient records transfer when enrolling in a new school; and (6) lack of an available parent or surrogate to represent the child or unaccompanied youth. Coordination between education for homeless children and youth (EHCY) programs, which implement the McKinney-Vento Act, and special education programs, which implement IDEA, is key to ensure that homeless children and youth with disabilities receive the full range of services to meet their complex needs. Yet, many school districts or local educational agencies (LEAs) struggle with aligning laws, policies, and practices across programs to best meet the needs of these students. This brief offers some practical strategies to help local homeless education liaisons (subsequently referred to as local liaisons) and special education program administrators create a coordinated approach to serve homeless children and youth with disabilities. Drawing on good practices shared for over a decade, including a policy forum hosted in 2008 by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the brief features a collaborative process that will enable local EHCY and special education staff to work through complex issues from an administrative and policy perspective. [For the earlier report: "Navigating the Intersections of IDEA and McKinney-Vento: A Problem-Solving Process. Best Practices in Homeless Education," see ED522241.]
National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE. P.O. Box 5367, 915 Northridge Street 2nd Floor, Greensboro, NC 27435. Tel: 800-755-3277; Fax: 336-315-7457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Safe and Healthy Students (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Stewart B McKinney Homeless Assistance Act 1987; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act