Every year thousands of families struggle with homelessness. In Cleveland, there were 2,744 homeless students in 2017. Statistics show that the percentage of homeless children in Ohio who graduate is less than 25% according to the National Center on Family Homelessness. Education of today’s children plays an important roll in preventing homelessness.
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth 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 supporting district programs that serve homeless students. The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program is to ensure that all children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education as non-homeless children and youth.
State and local educational agencies are required to develop, review and revise policies to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance and success in school that homeless children and youth may experience. Local educational agencies must also provide homeless children and youth with the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and state student performance standards to which all students are held. The goal is to get students back into school quickly after their family becomes homeless.
Every LEA (Local Educational Agencies, otherwise known as school districts) must designate an appropriate staff person as a local homeless education liaison. Each school district in Ohio has a liaison which makes sure the McKinney-Vento Act is implemented for the district’s homeless children. Below is a list of the liaisons for each of Cuyahoga County’s Public School Districts 2018-19.