Homeless Education

Contact Information

Homeless Education State Coordinator
Shannon Cranmore
(307) 777-3672

The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) is authorized under Title IX-A of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is also known as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  This act is designed to address the problems that children and youth in transition face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school.

Homelessness may exist in any community.  A combination of high housing costs and poverty causes many families to lose their housing, and many young people leave their homes due to abuse, neglect,and family conflict. Children and youth who have lost their housing live in a variety of places, including motels, shelters, shared residences, transitional housing programs, cars, campgrounds, and other places.  Their lack of permanent housing can lead to potentially serious physical, emotional, and mental consequences.

It is the policy of the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to view children and youth as individuals.  Therefore, we will not refer to children as homeless; we will instead use the term “children and youths in transition.”  Under federal law, children and youths in transition must have access to appropriate public education, including preschool education when applicable, must be able to fully participate in school and extracurricular activities, and must have access to educational, transportation and other services that they need to assist them in meeting the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held. Our schools will ensure that children and youths in transition are not stigmatized or segregated and are free from discrimination and harassment. In addition, children and youths in transition may not be separated from the mainstream school environment based solely on the fact that they are experiencing homelessness.

Every school district is required to have a trained, local homeless education liaison to identify and assist families in transition with enrolling and fully participating in school.

School District Local Liaison Contact Information

School District Local Liason Resources

Resources for Parents, Guardians, and Students

What is meant by the term “children and youths in transition?”

Section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Act defines “children and youths in transition as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:

  • Children and youths who are:

– sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled-up”);

– living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

– living in emergency or transitional shelters; or

– abandoned in hospitals;

  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above


Are children who are awaiting foster care placement still eligible for services under the McKinney-Vento Act?

The McKinney-Vento Act no longer includes children and youths who are awaiting foster care placement in the definition of “children and youths in transition” and will no longer be considered homeless and will therefore not be eligible for McKinney-Vento services unless they meet the revised definition of “children and youths in transition”. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the ESSA, includes new provisions for ensuring the educational stability of children in foster care under Title I, Part A. Joint U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidance on those provisions can be found here. 


What criteria may a Local Education Agency (LEA) consider when determining if a child or youth lives in “substandard housing”?

The inclusion of substandard housing in the definition of children and youths in transition has caused some confusion because standards for adequate housing may vary by locality. In determining whether a child or youth is living in “substandard housing,” an LEA may consider whether the setting in which the family, child, or youth is living lacks one of the fundamental utilities such as water, electricity, or heat; is infested with vermin or mold; lacks a basic functional part such as a working kitchen or a working toilet; or may present unreasonable dangers to adults, children, or persons with disabilities. Each city, county, or State may have its own housing codes that further define the kind of housing that may be deemed substandard.

Children and youths in transition have the right to:

  • Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there;
  • Stay in the school that they were attending before being in transition, the school they last attended, or the local enrollment school if that is their choice and it is in the best interest of the child;
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if they do not have all the paperwork, such as school or medical records or any other documentation required by the school district to enroll;
  • Unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in school without proof of guardianship;
  • Be provided transportation to or from the child’s school of origin;
  • Access the same special programs and services that are provided to other children, including special education, migrant education and vocational education;
  • Receive the same public education that is provided to other children, including preschool where applicable. (Your child cannot be separated from the mainstream school environment because they are in transition. They cannot be segregated in a separate school, separate programs within a school, or separate settings within a school);
  • Parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youths have the right to dispute an eligibility, school selection, or enrollment decisions.

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