Hurricane Harvey has affected tens of thousands of Texas students and their families. Federal and state disaster relief agencies, the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO) at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas, and the Region 10 Education Service Center are all working together to provide students and families with stability and access to school during this time of crisis.
“The McKinney-Vento Act protects students who are displaced due to a natural disaster,” said Jeanne Stamp, THEO director. “Being back in the classroom may help provide these students with much-needed stability, friendship, and mentoring during this crisis.”
The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures that students and families in homeless situations—including those displaced by Hurricane Harvey—have many rights regarding enrollment in school. Students can enroll in the school district in which they are currently living or in an adjoining district if families have the means to take their children to that district. Students may also remain in the district from which they were displaced if the schools are operational.
The McKinney-Vento Act requires that every local education agency (LEA) designate a Homeless Liaison to identify and support students experiencing homelessness. LEA Homeless Liaisons should be included in local disaster relief efforts and LEA planning concerning Hurricane Harvey. For a list of local liaisons visit: http://www.theotx.org/liaison-directory.
Emergency shelter staff will help families obtain enrollment information for their children. Families may also access THEO’s homeless liaison directory to get contact information for the homeless liaison at their local school district.
Additional information may be found on the THEO website or by calling THEO’s assistance hotline at 1-800-446-3142.
Source:Texas Homeless Education Office at the Univeristy of Texas Austin