Homeless / Youth in Transition

Foster & Homeless Youth Education Services

Homeless Youth Education Services coordinates with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which addresses the problems that homeless children and youth face when enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Our program ensures that students experiencing homelessness are enrolled and are provided with comparable educational services and resources to achieve academic success. 

 The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youths” as students who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are:

  • Sharing the housing of others due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals
  • Living at a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Migratory children qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
  • Unaccompanied youth, including any youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, such as runaways, or youth denied housing by their families

Educational Rights

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, homeless children and youth have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents that are normally required for enrollment
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending the school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), according to the student’s best interest

If the school district believes that the school selected is not in the student’s best interest, the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform the parent, guardian, or youth of the right to appeal its decision.

  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to each student’s needs
  • Receive free lunches for the duration of the school year
  • Receive equal access to education and have school fees waived

Homeless Children & Youth services also provides a master list of resources for homeless youth, caregivers, district liaisons, and community members to quickly access resources. Resources are available in English and Spanish.

Link for 211 Tulare County: WIN App (211)

Courtney Venegas
Tulare County Office of Education McKinney-Vento Education Liaison
559-302-3622 ext 5156

Leanne Wheeler
California State Homeless Coordinator

FY & Homeless Liaison List as of - 1.2024

Breaking Barriers Referral

Housing Questionnaire TCOE School Sites - English 

Housing Questionnaire TCOE School Sites - Spanish

Dispute Resolution Process Flow

Dispute Resolution Process - For Parents

Enrollment Dispute Form

Written Notification of Enrollment Decision