Click the question to reveal the answer, click the question once more to hide.
In a situation where students stay at a shelter for only a short period of time, can a district provide a teacher to teach at the shelter?
The McKinney-Vento Act says that its funds can be used to provide services to children experiencing homelessness in a separate setting within a public school, only "as necessary for short periods of time for health and safety emergencies." How is "health and safety emergencies" defined?
McKinney-Vento Act funds must expand or improve upon services provided as part of a school's regular academic program, and cannot replace regular academic services. 42 U.S.C. 11433(a)(2)(A)(iii). The Act does contain a very limited provision for providing services to students experiencing homelessness in a separate setting within a public school, as described in the question. The very limited "health and safety emergency" exception says:
1. only school districts that get McKinney subgrants
2. can provide services to homeless students in separate settings within a public school (not at a shelter or other location)
3. as necessary
4. for short periods of time
5. for health and safety emergencies
There is no specific definition of "health and safety emergencies." One possible example of a permissible service under this clause might be for a school in a McKinney-Vento funded school district to keep students who are affected by domestic violence in a separate setting at dismissal time to make sure they get home safely. 42 U.S.C. 11433(a)(2)(B)(ii). Since McKinney-Vento services cannot replace regular academic services, this provision would not
allow for separate classes for students in homeless situations, included those affected by domestic violence. For children affected by domestic violence, whether they are residing in shelters or other situations, the public schools they attend must work with the parent to ensure safety, confidentiality, sensitivity, and appropriate services. More information on how schools and shelters can assist victims of domestic violence is now available at