The school district shall provide an educational environment that treats all students with dignity and respect. Every homeless student shall have access to the same free and appropriate educational opportunities as students who are not homeless. This commitment to the educational rights of homeless children, youth, and unaccompanied youth, applies to all services, programs and activities provided or made available.
A student may be considered eligible for services as a “Homeless Child or Youth” under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act if he or she is presently living:
- In a shelter, temporary shared housing, or transitional living program
- In a hotel/motel, campground, or similar situation due to lack of alternatives
- At a bus station, park, car or abandoned building
- In temporary or transitional foster care placement
According to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, eligible students have rights to:
Immediate enrollment: Documentation and immunization records cannot serve as a barrier to the enrollment in school.
School Section: McKinney-Vento eligible students have a right to select from the following schools:
- The school he/she attended when permanently housed (School or Origin)
- The school in which he/she was last enrolled (School of Origin)
- The school in the attendance area in which the student currently resides (School of Residency)
Remain enrolled in his/her selected school for the duration of homelessness, or until the end of the academic year in which they become permanently housed.
Participate in programs for which they are eligible, including Title I, National School Lunch Program, Head Start, Even Start, etc.
Transportation services: A McKinney-Vento eligible student attending his/her School of Origin has the right to transportation to and from that School of Origin.
Dispute Resolution: If you disagree with school officials about enrollment, transportation, or fair treatment of a homeless child or youth, you may file a complaint with the school district. The school district must respond and attempt to resolve it quickly. During the dispute time, the student must be immediately enrolled in the school and provided transportation until the matter is resolved. The Homeless Liaison will assist the student in making decisions, providing notice of any appeal process, and filling out the dispute forms.
For more information, refer to http://www.azed.gov/homeless//, or contact:
Frank Migali, State Coordinator for Homeless
Arizona Department of Education
1535 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Telephone: (602) 542-4963