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McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001 Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program

The educational program for Homeless Children and Youth, administered by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, provides funding to local educational agencies, shelters, and other organizations that provide services to homeless children and youth in North Dakota. Such services may include, but are not limited to: tutoring, counseling, help with transportation, school supplies, etc.

The program's goal is to provide activities/services to homeless children and youth, including preschool-aged children, that enable them to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. Homeless children and youth have the right to have access to the same free and appropriate public education as other children and youths.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction began providing McKinney-Vento, formerly known as McKinney Act, funds in 1988 to programs for homeless children and youth. North Dakota receives annual funding for this program. The funding averages at approximately $120,000. It is estimated that about 700 homeless children and youth are served annually with McKinney-Vento Act funds.

Section 725 (2) of the Act defines the term “homeless children and youths’” as an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:

  • children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

  • children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));

  • children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

  • migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

This information was taken from 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2); Pub. L. 100-77 Title VII §725 (2); 115 Stat. 2005.

The term homeless does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained by an Act of Congress or a state law.

The terms children and youth refer to those persons, including preschool-aged children, who would be entitled to a free, appropriate public education.

Children and youth who are living in doubled-up accommodations (sharing housing with other families or individuals) are considered homeless if they are doubled-up because of a loss of housing or other similar situation. Families living in doubled-up accommodations, voluntarily to save money, generally should not be considered homeless.

In determining whether a child or youth is homeless, the relative permanence of the living arrangements should be considered. Determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis.


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North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0440

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