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ERIC Number: ED574614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Supporting Homeless Children and Youth with Disabilities: Legislative Provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. McKinney-Vento Law into Practice 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 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 unaccompanied homeless youth, their own circumstances. Many homeless children and youth have disabilities that create additional challenges for educational progress. The National Center on Family Homelessness reported that children who are homeless, as compared to other children, have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, are four times more likely to show delayed development, and have twice the rate of learning disabilities (NCFH, 2008). 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, or 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. Two federal laws increase the educational stability and support needed to help homeless children and youth with disabilities succeed in school: "Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act" [42 U.S.C. §§ 11431-11435], reauthorized in 2001 by Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 [20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1444] (IDEA). This brief reviews the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act and IDEA so that educators and administrators in education for homeless children and youth (EHCY) programs and special education programs can increase their familiarity with both laws in order to coordinate efforts to improve the educational access and success of homeless children and youth with disabilities. In addition, the brief summarizes specific amendments and implementing regulations in IDEA that address the needs of homeless and highly mobile children and youth with disabilities.
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: Elementary Secondary Education
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; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C