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Added Monday, August 22, 2016 by Action Alliance

Educational Rights of Homeless Children and Youth

We know that many of you work in programs work on behalf of children and youth everyday addressing a wide range of educational issues, including but not limited to, addressing safety needs associated with attending school, helping kids transition to schools, and general academic support. Recognizing that children and youth experiencing homelessness often have difficulty in school, there has been efforts to put policies and practices in place to protect the rights of all students and ensure access to services to support success in school.

In December 2015, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), which ensures that education of homeless students.  The law takes effect this October.  Below are links to some basic fact sheets on this new law:
Homeless Student Fact Sheet and Rights
U.S. Department of Education Guidance.  This document also provides specific guidance on protecting the privacy of homeless children exposed to or experiencing domestic violence.
Information of Shelters and Advocates. This will also take to you to a link to find the Student Services Liaison in your community.

We hope this information helps you better understand the variety of rights of students, as well as provide you information on services in the community that are available to you to advocate on behalf of homeless students in your community.

The College of William and Mary the Education of Homeless Youth program for the Department of Education in Virginia.  More information can be found on the program's website.


  • Homeless Student Fact Sheet and Rights Download
  • U.S. Department of Education Guidance Download

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