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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.

November is Runaway and Homeless Youth Month

Here is Governor Hickenlooper’s proclamation regarding this designation.

Education Week's Feature

CDE’s State Coordinator for Homeless Education, Kerry Wrenick, is featured in Education Week’s inaugural edition of “10 Big Ideas in Education.” This is a special report exploring game-changing disruptions to the field of education that have the potential to shake up the schoolhouse and the classroom. Presented in no particular order, they are meant to stir conversation or prompt you to think about your work in a new way.

Denver Post Feature

Dana Scott 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.

Colorado’s summer wildfire season could be hazardous.

Read an article published by the Denver Post:

Additional information:

Colorado State Forest Service

National Fire Protection Association

National Center for Homeless Education

Families and students displaced by wildfires (and other natural disasters) could be eligible for McKinney-Vento services. It is important to know the resources available and educate families on their rights.


The Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Education Rights of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations

This document, created collaboratively by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), and updated in October 2017, provides answers to many of the most frequently asked questions on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations.
Download The Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Education Rights of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations.


Back to School Webinar

The Homeless Education and Foster Care Education Programs teamed up to host a Back to School webinar to provide the most up-to-date information on both programs.



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.

On July 27, 2016 the U.S. Department of Education released a complete packet of materials including guidance, fact sheets for educators and a press release from Dr. John King, U.S. Secretary of Education.  The materials can be accessed through the National Association for the Educaiton of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) website:

Please visit  and for more information or email with questions.


Children walking to school with school bus in background


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