Education Rights

The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law created to support students who are:

  • sharing housing with extended family or friends;
  • staying in motels or campgrounds;
  • staying in shelters or transitional housing; and
  • sleeping in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing.



Students’ rights and required services include:

  • Immediate school enrollment, even if students do not have vaccination records or other required documents for enrollment;
  • Automatic enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program;
  • Free transportation to school and school-related activities;
  • Access to Head Start, Early Head Start, and early intervention services;
  • Free participation in all clubs, activities, and sports; and
  • Students may choose to continue attending the school they were attending before they became homeless.

Contact the child’s school counselor for more information.  Check here to find the contact information for the homeless liaison who serves the child’s school district. You can also find more resources about the McKinney-Vento Act on the OPI website.

MLSA is part of the effort to empower unhoused youth to address legal problems that may prevent them from obtaining safe and stable housing. Our Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project works statewide to help unhoused youth and young adults. MLSA’s Youth Homelessness Coordinator directly connects youth and young adults with our services. Call or text them at (406) 594-1971.