Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)

 Video: Amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act

State Coordinators for Homeless Education, Kristine Nadolski and Susan Piazza, present a summary of the changes to the McKinney-Vento Act as it was amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. Please watch this brief video for important information regarding the changes to the law that go into effect in the 2016-17 school year.

NEW Webinar for Wisconsin Homeless Liaisons


Patricia Julianelle of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) presented a webinar on the McKinney-Vento Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.

Important information on the changes to the McKinney-Vento Act are discussed in the webinar including the most current information on:

  • school stability
  • enrollment and full participation
  • credit accrual and college readiness
  • preschool
  • identification of homeless children and youth
  • homeless children and youth with disabilities
  • privacy
  • access to HUD homeless assistance
  • McKinney-Vento subgrants
  • the U.S. Department of Education
  • federal funding
  • foster care
  • updated definitions  

More information is available on the NAEHCY ESSA page as well as the National Center for Homeless Education ESSA page.

McKinney-Vento Reauthorization - Every Student Succeeds Act


On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA strengthens ESEA in notable ways, including new provisions related to the education of homeless children and youth.

Between now and when the reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act goes into effect in December 2016, DPI will be working to provide information regarding the changes to the law while updating our existing guidance. Please note, however, that, during this transitional period, DPI resources may continue to reflect statutory provisions included in the previous version of ESEA (the No Child Left Behind Act), many of which continue to be in effect under ESSA.

Please visit the National Center for Homeless Education ESSA page and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth ESSA page.


The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program's major responsibility is to implement the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. Homeless children and unaccompanied youth must have access to public school educational programs and services that allow them to meet the same challenging state academic standards to which all students are held.

Program Elements

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  • Designate a homeless liaison in each school district.
  • Identify and immediately enroll any homeless child or youth (preschool to grade 12), even without academic or medical records.
  • Continue children or youths in their "school of origin" for the duration of their homelessness.
  • Inform parents/guardians of the educational rights of their children.
  • Provide transportation, at the request of the parent, to the school of origin.
  • Ensure no barriers exist (for example, residency requirements, lack of transportation or school fees) for full educational participation.
  • Develop partnerships with community agencies to identify and assist with basic services for homeless families, children, and youth.
  • Ensure homeless students are not segregated or stigmatized.

Complaint Procedure

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Complaints regarding school enrollment or selection should follow the local district's dispute resolution process. If unsuccessful, a parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth who is homeless may send complaints to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI, 53707-7841. Complaints involving homeless issues follow Chapter PI 1.

Homeless Liaison Contact Information

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To see a copy of the current directory of homeless liaisons for each school district in Wisconsin, go to the contact list.

Guidance from U.S. Department of Education: Use of Title I funds to provide services to homeless children and youth

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Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015

On December 16, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83), the omnibus funding bill for FY 2015. Under H.R. 83, the policy changes regarding the use of Title I, Part A funding to support the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness first enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 were reauthorized, as follows:

"...Provided further, That funds available under sections 1124, 1124A, 1125 and 1125A of the ESEA may be used to provide homeless children and youths with services not ordinarily provided to other students under those sections, including supporting the liaison designated pursuant to section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and providing transportation pursuant to section 722(g)(1)(J)(iii) of such Act..."

Title III, Education for the Disadvantaged

H.R. 83 governs the spending of FY 2015 dollars, which are available from July 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015.

Legislation: download the full text of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015.

Letter to States from the U.S. Department of Education

For questions about this information please contact one of our State EHCY Coordinators: 

Kristine Nadolski (608) 267-7338

Susan Piazza (608) 267-1284