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ERIC Number: ED594663
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Maximizing Credit Accrual and High School Completion for Homeless Students. Updated. Best Practices in Homeless Education Brief Series
National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Nearly half of students who drop out do so as a result of adverse conditions in the school, while 37% of dropouts are pulled out of school by challenges like financial worries, family needs, or employment. Only 14% of dropouts did so for reasons that can be described as failing out of school due to a lack of interest or academic progress (Doll, Eslami, & Walters, 2013). In light of this information, students experiencing homelessness are at particularly high risk for quitting school before graduation. Fortunately, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) are designed to improve those odds by providing educational opportunities and supports for students. The McKinney-Vento Act contains several provisions that can reduce dropout rates by helping students remain in school and stay on track. First, the law requires that homeless students who move be immediately enrolled at either the school of origin or the local attendance area school, based on the student's best interest (McKinney-Vento Act section 722(g)(3)(B)). A local education agency (LEA) is required to presume that keeping a homeless student in the school of origin is in his or her best interest, unless remaining in the school of origin goes against the wishes of parents, guardians, or unaccompanied youth (McKinney-Vento Act section 722(g)(3)(B)(i)). In addition to preventing students from dropping out of school, the enrollment provisions in the McKinney-Vento Act are critical for homeless students as high mobility and seat-time policies often cause students to lose valuable classroom time necessary to earn credits. LEA plans under Title I of the ESEA must be designed in coordination with other laws, including the McKinney-Vento Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Requirements for LEA Title I plans provide homeless liaisons with the opportunity to engage in conversations with district leadership, Title I directors, families, unaccompanied homeless youths, and other stakeholders about the challenges faced by homeless students in all areas of education, but in relation to barriers to credit accrual in particular.
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; Guides - General
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I; Stewart B McKinney Homeless Assistance Act 1987