Thursday, April 7, 2016

Homeless Children Have Rights Under IDEA #homeless

There were approximately 89,000 homeless students in the United States during the 2013-2014 school year. Some are runaways. Some have fled abuse in their homes. Some have been kicked out because of their sexual orientation. The number of homeless students is both big and sad.

Homeless children have rights under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Our friends at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education in conjunction with National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth have published an informative article on this topic entitled  "Surrogate Parents and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Under IDEA." If you are interested in this topic or if you encounter a special education issue involving a homeless youth, this article is very useful. You can read the article here.


  1. I think that teachers should identify homeless youth and encourage them to study. The idea with a surrogate parent is great. Thank you for this post.

  2. Thank you for sharing this article as a good resource. I am wondering what the legal definition of a "homeless youth" is in terms of special education is. For example, if a student is without contact from parents but living with a sibling or other family without them having legal guardianship can they still be considered homeless for this purpose (assuming parents cannot be contacted or involved)?

    1. IDEA adopts the definition in the McKinney-Vento Act 42 U.S.C. 11434a. IDEA §602(11).