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Report: 420K fewer homeless students identified at start of school year

K-12 Dive |

A national survey of 1,444 McKinney-Vento education liaisons in 49 states shows a 28% drop in the identification of homeless students compared to fall 2019, amounting to an estimated 420,000 fewer children identified at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires districts to appoint a homeless education liaison and ensure homeless students have the same access to a free, appropriate public education as other learners, which includes identifying, enrolling and providing transportation for homeless students (Part C – Homeless Education).

In a separate 50-state survey — 39 of which responded — a majority said they didn’t direct funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for homeless students and have indicated they will not be tracking whether or how districts are using CARES funding to support this population.

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