On July 22, 1987, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing with the problems of homelessness in America. Recently included in the 2011 No Child Left Behind Act, it is now called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001.
As a first step in 1988, the Pennsylvania Department of Education established the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. This program has been responsible for assessing Pennsylvania’s homeless children population, developing the appropriate responses and establishing McKinney-Vento Homeless sites.
Some of the main objectives of the Homeless Children’s Initiative are to inform local school districts of their responsibilities to homeless children and youth, to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children, reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, explain current legislation and policies, and provide practical tips for working with homeless children.
Assistance from the School District
Every school district must have a person in charge of making sure students who are homeless can enroll and succeed in school. The law calls that person the “Liaison.” The District Homeless Liaison can support and help students in homeless situations in many ways. They must:
The Connellsville Area School District Homeless Liaison is Dr. Jeffrey McWilliams, 724.628.4497.
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