Homeless Education Initiative




Homeless Liaison - Jacqualynn Deal

Homeless Education Coordination - Cynthia Waters
Homeless Casemanager - Jamie Hill


Maryland’s Requirements and Guidance for Homeless Education


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

Defining Homeless
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth awaiting foster care placement
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

Enrollment and Transportation
The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll homeless children and youth immediately, even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. The act ensures that homeless children and youth have transportation to and from their school of origin if it is in the child's or youth's best interest.

Dispute Resolution
Schools must provide you with a written explanation if a placement dispute occurs, and you may appeal the school’s decision. Your child will continue to be transported during the dispute process. The following procedures are specified in McKinney-Vento and further explained in Wicomico County’s Dispute Resolution Process

For more information: