The McKinney-Vento Act: Ensuring Rights for the Homeless

Posted on 13. May, 2010 by in THE RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION

by Dale W. Eisinger

The McKinney-Vento act was the first federal bill to address homelessness and the rights of homeless people in the U.S. The original bill was passed in 1987 under President Reagan. It provides support to families without permanent housing and, notably, allows transitional students to remain in the same school even if they move to a different neighborhood or school district. It also allows students who lack proper documentation, such as immunization records or transcripts, to enroll in school quickly. The bill gives funding to assistance programs in individual states, but is conditional: states are granted federal funds with the assumption that those states will meet certain terms of assistance/aid. Some states are failing to do so: lawsuits have been successfully filed against the states of Maryland, Hawaii, and New York, as well as Washington, D.C. In May 2009, President Obama reauthorized the bill. In January of this year, he increased the program’s budget by ten percent – $190 million – to push the program’s total funding to just over $2 billion.

Reference Links:

Right to an Education

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