Homeless (McKinney-Vento) Education Assistance

Know Your Rights

Girl writing       Know Your Rights

If I am homeless, where will my child go to school?
As a homeless parent, you have the right to decide, along with your child’s school, whether it is in the best interest of your child to:

BooksStay in the same school he or she attended before you became homeless (this is the “school of origin”); or transfer to the school that is closest to your new location.

To the extent that is feasible, the Local School System will enroll your child in either school.

What is in the “best interest” for my child; to stay in the same school or change schools?
The decision about your child’s school enrollment will take into consideration factors such as:
• Special needs for your child
• Continuity of instruction
• Likely length of stay in your new place of residence
• Location
• Time and distance to transport your child to and from school.

If I am homeless, what documents do I need to enroll my child in school?
• School Records
• Birth Certificate
• Immunizations

But, if you do not have these documents, your child cannot be denied entry. The school must help obtain any documents needed for enrollment.


Can my child ride the school bus?
Your child’s school will provide transportation for your child.
You cannot be denied access to the school that is in the best interest of your child because of lack of transportation.
                           School Buses

“… the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program is to ensure that all homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschool education, provided to other children and youth.”
Stewart B. McKinney
Homeless Assistance Act


Does my child have the same rights as other school children?
Your child has the same rights to school programs and services as all children, including:
• School Breakfast & Lunch
• Before/After School Programs
• Preschool Programs
• Transportation
• Special Education
• Gifted and Talented Programs
• Career & Technology Education


Updated:May 2017

Homeless Education Assistance


ESSA Updates and Guidance


Title I/Homeless Education Collaboration




Who do I call if I have questions?

Call your Local District’s Homeless Education Coordinator:
ALLEGANY (301) 759-2410
ANNE ARUNDEL ( 410) 226-3348
BALTIMORE CITY (410) 345-7592
BALTIMORE (443) 809-6485
CALVERT (443) 486-4529
CAROLINE (410) 479-3253
CARROLL (410) 751-3119
CECIL (410) 996-5490
CHARLES (301) 392-7510
DORCHESTER (410) 901-6940
FREDERICK (301) 644-5290
GARRETT (301) 334-8937
HARFORD (410) 588-5283
HOWARD (410) 313-7334
KENT (410) 810-3170
MONTGOMERY (301) 279-3322
PRINCE GEORGE’’S (301) 925-2482
QUEEN ANNE’S (410) 758-2403 X154
SOMERSET (410) 621--6239
ST. MARY’S (301) 475-5511 X32198
TALBOT (410) 822-0330 X143
WASHINGTON (301) 766-2823
WICOMICO (410) 677-4535
WORCESTER (410) 632-5080

or contact
Valerie Ashton-Thomas, Coordinator
Program Improvement and Family Support Branch
Division of Student, Family, and School Support
Maryland State Department of Education
Phone: (410) 767-0314
Email: Valerie.Ashton-Thomas@maryland.gov