If your family is displaced due to a natural disaster, does that mean that your child will need to miss out on school for a significant amount of time? Probably not. Here’s the law on education and temporary homelessness.
Is there a specific law that covers education and temporary living situations?
Yes, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 sets out the rules for children who become homeless. Originally, McKinney-Vento was put in place to deal with the growing problem of homelessness in the United States. It specifically covers children who live with any other person (including relatives) due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason. Also covered are children living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camp grounds, emergency or transitional shelters or have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for regular sleeping, such cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings and migratory children. Originally the law did not speak to children displaced by a natural disaster but after Katrina, McKinney-Vento was extended to include these children as well.