When families lose their homes, children often lose their schools. Therefore, as a result of the economic crisis, our nation has seen a growing wave of homeless students enrolling into public schools. This means school systems across the country are working to accommodate more new students than in previous school years. Under the federal McKinney-Vento Act, school districts are required to implement policies and practices to ensure that students who are experiencing homelessness can earn credits. Furthermore, the McKinney-Vento also requires schools to immediately enroll students experiencing homelessness, which does not always occur with ease, eliminating barriers to educational opportunities for homeless children and youth.

PBS Newshour recently reported from Seattle on the rising homelessness for school-age children and the challenges faced by the public schools who work to accommodate them. Special attention should be given on how quickly one student is enrolled (although several attempts for his enrollment were made prior) once the Newshour cameras accompany the student to the school site.

For more information on McKinney-Vento or helping our homeless youth: