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National Center for Homeless Education: Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Services

This National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) brief explores the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness in detail, and provides a step-by-step guide for making determinations of McKinney-Vento eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

National Center for Homeless Education: Determining McKinney-Vento Program Eligibility webpage

This NCHE webpage provides informational and practical resources on determining student eligibility for McKinney-Vento rights and services.

National Center for Homeless Education: The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless

This NCHE webpage shares the definition of homelessness used by U.S. public schools, as established under Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

SchoolHouse Connection: Federal Education Definition of Homeless flyer

This SchoolHouse Connection flyer summarizes the four primary nighttime residence categories included in the McKinney-Vento education definition of homeless: Shelters/Transitional Housing, Hotels/Motels, Staying with Others (“Doubling Up”), and Unsheltered.

Sample Materials

California Department of Education: Model Housing Questionnaire and Instructions for Usage

Under California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 27, school districts must administer a housing questionnaire to all students annually to ensure the identification of children and youth experiencing homelessness. This questionnaire must include an explanation of the rights of students experiencing homelessness. This California Department of Education sample questionnaire can be used by districts as is, or customized to meet local needs, to meet this statutory requirement.

California HETAC: Sample End-of-Year Letter for Students Identified as McKinney-Vento Eligible

While not required under federal or state law, distributing an end-of-year letter to students identified during the school year as McKinney-Vento eligible can be a useful identification strategy. This HETAC sample letter can be used by districts as is, or customized to meet local needs, for this purpose.