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Determining McKinney-Vento Program Eligibility

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NCHE Resources

Confirming Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Services *updated Aug 2017*
To determine a student's McKinney-Vento eligibility, school districts must determine whether a student's living arrangement meets the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless. In this process, school districts may encounter instances where they feel the need to confirm information provided about a child's or youth's living arrangement. This NCHE brief provides local homeless education liaisons and school districts with recommended steps to take and practices to avoid when seeking to confirm a student's McKinney-Vento eligibility.
Download Confirming Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Services.

Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Services *updated Aug 2017*
This NCHE brief provides local homeless education liaisons and other school personnel with an in-depth understanding of the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless. It also outlines a step-by-step process for making determinations of McKinney-Vento eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
Download Determining Eligibility for McKinney-Vento Rights and Services.

Who is Homeless?
This brief provides the definition of "homeless", as stated in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and offers strategies for determining homelessness by the definition.
Download Who is Homeless?.


Other Resources

Code of Federal Regulations: Title 24, Section 5.425 (24 C.F.R. 5.425) - Federal Preference: Substandard Housing
These federal regulations discuss the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of substandard housing for purposes of administering the federal Section 8 and Public Housing Assistance Programs.
View 24 C.F.R. 5.425 - Federal Preference: Substandard Housing .

Definitions of Homelessness for Federal Programs Serving Children, Youth, and Families
The two major definitions of homeless in use by federal agencies are the education definition in Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act, and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition in Section 103 of Subtitle I of the McKinney-Vento Act. The definitions overlap and diverge in ways that can cause confusion. This chart, authored by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and updated in October 2014, illustrates the similarities and differences between federal agencies' definitions of homeless.
Download Definitions of Homelessness for Federal Programs Serving Children, Youth, and Families.

Measuring Overcrowding in Housing
This report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development examines the issue of overcrowding in housing within the United States based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Housing Survey (AHS). In addition to examining trends, it presents alternative definitions of overcrowding based on an extensive literature review, including definitions based on persons-per-room (PPR), persons-per-bedroom (PPB), unit square footage-per-person (USFPP), and persons-per-room (PPR) by unit square footage-per-person (USFPP).
Download Measuring Overcrowding in Housing.


Sample Forms, Materials, and Policies

Bellingham Public Schools: Student Housing Questionnaire
This one-page questionnaire is used by Bellingham Public Schools (WA) to determine eligibility for McKinney-Vento services. It provides the ability for unaccompanied students to verify their own living arrangements by signing for themselves. Other districts may use this form as a guide for developing their own residency questionnaires.
Download the questionnaire in English | Spanish.

Cobb County School District (Atlanta, GA): Administrative Forms
See Section J of Cobb County School District's Board Policies and Administrative Rules for a variety of forms related to enrolling and educating children and youth experiencing homelessness, including:
  • Information on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • Procedure for Free Lunch
  • Procedure For Transportation to School of Origin
  • School of Origin Request
  • Student Residency Statement
  • Written Notification Form
    Forms are available in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish.
    Visit the Cobb County School District (Atlanta, GA): Administrative Forms webpage. (See Section J).

  • Colorado Department of Education McKinney-Vento Identification Template
    This one-page questionnaire from the Colorado Department of Education may be used for determining and documenting a student's eligibility for McKinney-Vento services. The form also may be customized for usage in other states and/or school districts.
    Download the Colorado Department of Education McKinney-Vento Identification Template.

    District School Board of Pasco County: Student/Family Domicile Questionnaire
    This one-page questionnaire is used by the District School Board of Pasco County to determine eligibility for services under Title I, Part A, Title I, Part C-Migrant, or Title X, Part C-McKinney-Vento. Other districts may use this form as a guide for developing their own domicile questionnaires.
    Download the District School Board of Pasco County: Student/Family Domicile Questionnaire questionnaire.

    Louisiana Student Residency Questionnaire
    This one-page questionnaire, developed by the Louisiana Department of Education, may be used to determine homelessness upon school enrollment. Other states may use this form as a guide for developing their own residency questionnaires.
    Download the Louisiana Student Residency Questionnaire questionnaire.

    New York City Department of Education: Residency Questionnaire
    This one-page questionnaire, developed by the New York City Department of Education, may be used to determine homelessness upon school enrollment. Other school districts may use this form as a guide for developing their own residency questionnaires. The questionnaire is available in nine languages, including English.
    Download the questionnaire in English | Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Urdu.

    Sample Legislation: Overcrowding and Illegal Occupancies
    This webpage provides sample legislation from municipalities across the United States offering methods for determining when a residential property would be considered an illegal dwelling or substandard housing.
    Visit the Sample Legislation: Overcrowding and Illegal Occupancies webpage.

    Texas Student Residency Questionnaire
    This one-page questionnaire, developed by the Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO), may be used to determine homelessness upon school enrollment. Other states may use this form as a guide for developing their own residency questionnaires.
    Download the questionnaire in English | Spanish.

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    The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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