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The Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program ensures that students who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are provided a free, appropriate public education. This includes educational services that provide for an equal opportunity to enroll in, attend, and be successful in school. Originally authorized in 1987 under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, this program was most recently reauthorized as Title I, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Act ensures educational rights and protection for children and youth experiencing homelessness and includes:
- The right to immediate enrollment in school even without giving a permanent address or if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
- The right to attend school in the school of origin (if this is requested by the parent or unaccompanied youth and is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing.
- The right to receive transportation to the school of origin, if this is requested by the parent or unaccompanied youth.
- The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
- The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
- The posting of homeless students' rights in all schools and other places around the community.