The term homeless children and youth refers to any individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The Turner School District strives to insure that every student, regardless of their residence, receives the best educational experience possible.

To learn more about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education program, or to see if you qualify, please refer to one of the topics below. If you feel that you may qualify, please contact Elly Morris, Homeless Liaison, at (913) 288-4106.

What is McKinney-Vento?

During the 1980's, the federal government recognized the magnitude of the problem of homelessness within our country and, more specifically, the increasing incidences of homelessness among families with children and unaccompanied youth. To address this issue, Congress passed the Stewart A McKinney Act, reauthorized most recently as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:

  • The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
  • The right to attend school in his/her school of origin (if this is requested by the parent and is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing.
  • The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if this is requested by the parent.
  • The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
  • The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
  • The posting of homeless students' rights in all schools and other places around the community.

While having the opportunity to enroll and succeed in school may seem like a given to many of us, the McKinney-Vento Act was enacted due to the numerous barriers homeless children faced in obtaining free, appropriate public education.

Who is Homeless?

If you are living in any of the following situations you qualify as homeless:

  • Living with another family ("doubled up") due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason;
  • Living in a hotel, motel, camp ground, or trailer park due to the lack of alternative accomodations;
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  • Abandoned in a hospital;
  • Awaiting foster care placement;
  • Living in a nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for humans;
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
  • Migratory children living in any of the above situations;
  • Children and youths without a parent or guardian (called "unaccompanied youth").

What Services does the Homeless Liaison Provide?

  • Identification;
  • Immediate enrollment;
  • Assistance with obtaining needed paperwork once enrolled;
  • FAFSA "Homeless Youth" verification;
  • Transportation, upon request;
  • Advocate for all unaccompanied youth;
  • Available to answer any questions you may have;
  • Coordinating with other Liaisons to address cross-district situtations;
  • Community resources;
  • School supplies;
  • Free lunch;
  • School fees waived, upon request;
  • Referrals to other agencies.

What are the Next Steps after Qualifying?

  • You will remain eligible for services for the entire school year, regardless of your living situation.
  • You can stay in Turner Schools all year, if you choose.
  • Please let the Homeless Liaison or the school office know if/every time you move. You will not be asked to leave Turner if you move out of district.
  • You automatically qualify for free lunch, but please send a few dollars with your student(s) for the first day or two to cover processing time.
  • If there is something you need, don't hesitate to ask. We will do whatever we can to help you.