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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

No Barriers: A Legal Advocates Guide to Ensuring Compliance with the Education Program of the McKinney-Vento Law

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Type new
Year published new

This manual provides legal advocates an understanding of the relevant provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act and the tools needed to implement these legal protections for homeless children and youth. The first section summarizes the key concepts and provisions of McKinney-Vento as well as the appellate process for homeless students who receive adverse determinations from their school systems. In addition, the manual delineates the responsibilities of state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs). The second section covers other federal and state education laws, initiatives, and resources that are relevant to helping homeless children and youth succeed in school. The third section focuses on specific populations of homeless children and youth who may face additional barriers to their education. The fourth section outlines challenges to implementing, enforcing, and complying with McKinney-Vento. The criminalization of youth homelessness is also addressed. The fifth section is a compliance list of dos and don’ts to avoid expensive and time-consuming litigation. The last section on lessons learned from previous litigation presents case summaries related to procedural and substantive issues. 


The full document is available for free download on the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty website at:

Accession number
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue