In 2010, 15,500 Chicago Public Schools students experienced homelessness (preK-12). However, homelessness should not deny children the right to a stable education. In order to ensure the rights of children experiencing homelessness, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) is advocating the protection of the McKinney Vento Act and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
The McKinney-Vento Act
The McKinney-Vento Act ensures educational rights and protections for the children and youth experiencing homelessness. The act provides the students with transportation and allows enrollment without documentation like birth certificates or immunization records. It also gives students the right to remain in their school of origin. The act also ensures their right to remain enrolled in their current school even if they move out of the district due to their homelessness. These rights are critical because they give the students the stability required for success.
In 2008, there were over 800,000 homeless students in the US. States failed to fund services for 41% of students identified as homeless.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act prevents the victimization of homeless youth and ensures access to education, employment, training, health care, drug and alcohol treatment, and other social services. There are over 25,000 unaccompanied homeless youth in the State of Illinois.
You can help protect homeless students. Print out the letter (.pdf) below and contact your Congressperson to protect the McKinney-Vento Act ($75 million) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act ($135 million), which are currently at stake and need our support to continue helping homeless youth.