The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, commercial or public campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

*Children in foster care are not automatically eligible (G-10, McKinney-Vento Non-Regulatory Guidance July 2004). A child/youth may be eligible for McKinney-Vento Services for the remainder of the school year from the time they are initially removed from the child's home and placed in foster/kinship care by CPS.

The McKinney-Vento Act ensures homeless children transportation to and from school free of charge, allowing children to attend their school of origin (last school enrolled or the school they attended when they first become homeless) regardless of what district the family resides in. It requires schools to register homeless children even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence.


The McKinney-Vento Act is a conditional funding act-the federal government gives grants to states and, in return, the grantee states are bound by the terms of the act. If a state chooses not to accept federal funds for these purposes, it does not have to implement the act.
To implement the McKinney-Vento Act, the state must designate a statewide homeless coordinator to review policies and create procedures, including dispute resolution procedures, to ensure that homeless children are able to attend school.


PDF Poster ( English, Español )

Local school districts must appoint Liaison contacts to ensure that school staff is aware of these rights, to provide public notice to homeless families (at shelters and at school), and to facilitate access to school and transportation services.

Royal School District offers the following information and forms to our community:

  • Education Rights (Word, PDF)
  • Disputes concerning school selection or enrollment:
    • Local Education Agency Dispute Resolution (Word, PDF)
    • District Level Dispute Resolution (Word, PDF)
    • State Dispute Resolution (Word, PDF)
    • District Notification to applicate (Word, PDF)
    • Appeal by applicate to District ( Word, PDF)
    • Appeal to Washington State (Word, PDF)
    • Appeal Process ( Word, PDF )
  • Questions?? FAQ Page (PDF)


RSD Homeless Liaison Ariana Martinez 509-346-2433 Ext. 3512