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Homeless Education

About Homeless Education

Definition of Homeless Children and Youth

Any displaced child or youth who is living in a shelter, motel, inadequate trailer or house, is staying temporarily with relatives or friends due to economic hardship or loss of housing, or is living in any other homeless situation has educational rights under the McKinney-Vento Act.

Denver Post Feature

Dana Scott, CDE's State Homeless Education Coodinator, worked with Jennifer Brown from the Denver Post on an article illustrating the impacts of homelessness on students’ lives, including their education. The article also provides information on the McKinney-Vento Act and the educational rights of homeless students.

McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children & Youth Grant


The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children & Youth Request For Proposal (RFP) for the next 3-year grant cycle is now available. The intent of the grant program is to remove educational barriers facing children and youth experiencing homelessness, with emphasis on educational enrollment, attendance and success.

Approximately $500,000 is available for the 2016-2017 school year.  Based on available funding, established need and quality of the proposal, three-year grants will be awarded, ranging up to $35,000 per year for LEAs and $40,000 per year for BOCES. 


McKinney-Vento RFP webinar:


*Recently CDE has been asked questions on if charters school can apply independently of their authorizers for the Colorado McKinney-Vento supplemental grant program.  Below is Colorado revised statute addressing this topic:

“If a charter school intends to apply for a grant that the school’s authorizing school district is also intending to apply for, the charter school shall seek to collaborate with the school district in the application and submit the application jointly.  If the charter school and the school district are unable to agree to collaborate in applying for the grant, the charter school may apply for the grant pursuance to this subsection (11) independently or in collaboration with other charter schools.”  - CRS - 22-30.5-104.5 (11)(c)

McKinney-Vento law requires that subgrants must go to LEAs.  Based on the above statute, charter schools should work to collaborate with their authorizer, where possible, to submit a comprehensive McKinney-Vento grant application.  If that is not possible, the charter school may submit a separate McKinney-Vento grant application but must still use their authorizer or the Charter School Institute as the fiscal agent per CRS - 22-30.5-503, State charter school institute-establishment-rules. (3.5)(a).

Office of School Nutrition Summer Food Service Program - Find a Summer site near You

  • Hunger Free Colorado's Summer Food Map
  • Hotline Numbers
    • Hunger Free hotline: 1-855-855-4626 (Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
    • National Hunger Hotline: 1-866-3hungry (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8hambre (1-877-842-6273) (Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
    • United Way and AIRS Hotline: 2-1-1 to find a feeding site near you
  • Be a Volunteer
    • While feeding children is the top priority of the Summer Food Service Program, programming is what keeps children coming back. This takes volunteers-and LOTS of them-especially in June, July, and August. Volunteers can help with basics like transporting food, setting up, or cleaning up a site-they also plan and do educational or recreational activities with the children.

Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
Important Changes for McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA strengthens ESEA in notable ways, including new provisions related to the education of homeless children and youth.

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, includes changes to strengthen and improve the education of over 1.3 million children and youth experiencing homelessness, from early childhood through high school graduation. It incorporates best practices from states and school districts across the country to increase the identification, enrollment, stability, and school success of children and youth experiencing homelessness. ESSA increases resources for homeless students by expanding the availability and use of Title IA funds, and by raising the authorized funding level for the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program.  Please use the following link for a summary of the major amendments on homelessness in The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. 

Between now and when ESSA goes into effect (Timeline for Implementation), CDE will be working to make available resources and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that  reflect changes made by ESSA.

Please visit  and for more information or email with questions.

Children walking to school with school bus in background

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