Washington State Requirements and Guidance for Education of Homeless Children and Youth

    The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

    Defining Homeless

    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:
    1. Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
    2. Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
    3. Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
    4. Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
    5. Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
    6. Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
    7. Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations
    The U.S. Department of Education has issued its Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
    The links to the "Non-Regulatory Guidiance" and "Fact Sheet" are located here:
    Enrollment and Transportation

    The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll homeless children and youth immediately, even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. The act ensures that homeless children and youth have transportation to and from their school of origin if it is in the child's or youth's best interest. See WSSDA (Policy No. 3115) for more information.

    Washington’s Role

    The McKinney-Vento Act provides grant funding to states and, in return, states are bound by the terms of the act. Washington receives approximately $950,000 in funding each year from the U.S. Department of Education to support the education of homeless students in school programs. This is the only money specifically designated for serving the educational needs of homeless students in Washington. OSPI, as the state educational agency, designates a statewide Education of Homeless Children and Youth Coordinator to review policies and create procedures, including dispute resolution procedures, to ensure that homeless children and youth are able to attend school.

    School District Responsibilities

    Local school districts must designate a homeless liaison to ensure that homeless children and youth are identified and served. The liaison must provide public notice to homeless families (in the community and at school), and facilitate access to school services including transportation. School districts are also required to track their homeless students and report that data annually to OSPI.

    The current McKinney-Vento liason in the Aberdeen School District is:
     Jamie Garcia
    You can reach her at 360-580-6740 or 360-538-2253
    You can also reach the OSPI Homeless Education Office at:

    Melinda Dyer, Program Supervisor, McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth

    Ella DeVerse, Program Specialist, McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth

    Cara Patrick, Program Supervisor, Homeless Student Stability

    Cindi Wiek, Administrative Assistant
    Feel free to click on this link for more information about Washington's McKinney-Vento Program:
    Thanks for stopping by our website to learn about our McKinney-Vento Program!
    Please contact Jamie Garcia at 360-538-2253 if you have any questions or email her at jgarcia@asd5.org.