Educators play a critical role in creating a safe and supportive environment that can foster academic success for students experiencing homelessness. School stability is key to support the educational and social-emotional well-being of students.
Teachers can play a critical role in the lives of students who are homeless. While McKinney-Vento liaisons bear the local-level legal responsibility for serving students experiencing homelessness, teachers are well-positioned to observe and respond to student needs.
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, every local educational agency, LEA, must appoint a local homeless education liaison [42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii)]. The local liaison serves as the district’s lead homeless education contact and is required to fulfill the duties of the position as established in the Act. [42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(6)(A)]
If you suspect a student might be homeless, identify the liaison for your district (link here) and ask for help in supporting the student and connecting them with needed resources. Educate yourself regarding the McKinney-Vento Act and New York State guidance (Ed Law 3209 and the Commissioner’s Regs 100.2 (x)). The Liaison may also be able to provide you with professional learning opportunities.