Education of Homeless Students: Information and Answers
This article provides information on how homeless students can get an education. This material is adapted from the Texas Education Agency.
Every Local Education Agency (LEA) must designate a staff person as a local homeless education liaison and submit that person's name to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This information is to be submitted to the AskTED online directory by the LEA's AskTED administrator. AskTED is TEA's online Texas Education Directory (TED). AskTED is the database where homeless education liaison's contact information is maintained.
You can learn more about the role of homeless education liaisons here. They are responsible for ensuring the identification, school enrollment, attendance, and opportunities for academic success of students experiencing homelessness.
Students who are experiencing homelessness are to be enrolled immediately. Districts cannot require students experiencing homelessness to provide proof of residency, immunizations, birth certificates guardianship documents, or any other sort of required paperwork before enrolling. Requiring missing paperwork or any other delay to enrollment is a violation of the McKinney-Vento Act.
According to the Texas Education Agency, students who are experiencing homelessness have the right to attend school in their school of origin or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing. The McKinney-Vento Act defines "school of origin" as "the school in which the child was enrolled when they became homeless, or the school in which the child was last enrolled." See also School Selection Provisions From the McKinney-Venton Act and the Texas Education Code, which notes that "the campus a child attends is determined by which campus can serve the best interests of the child."
In Texas a student experiencing homelessness may enroll in any district they choose, regardless of the location of their residence, school of origin or attendance zone campus.