The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. In San Diego County there are an estimated 20,000 homeless children and youth. The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) provides support and resources to the 42 school districts in the county, Juvenile Court and Community Schools, and countywide charter schools to implement McKinney-Vento. Technical assistance and training is available to the district homeless liaisons and other staff who are involved in working with homeless children and youth. The homeless education services coordinator serves as the county liaison for purposes of appeals before appealing to the California Department of Education.
The homeless liaison is crucial in ensuring the rights and services of students experiencing homelessness. If you have questions about education rights, LEA homeless liaisons, or information on this page, contact Susanne Terry, Coordinator for Homeless Education.
The term homeless children and youth means "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." This definition also includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or shelters.
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above