Homeless children and youth are defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and include those who meet any of the following criteria:
- Share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
- Live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Live in emergency or transitional shelters
- Are abandoned in hospitals
- Awaiting foster care placement
- 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 or
- Live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting.
Homeless students have the right to remain in their school of origin or the local attendance area school, according to the child's best interest. The school of origin is the school that the student attended when permanently housed or last enrolled. The local attendance area school is any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the student is actually living are eligible to attend.
Homeless students have the right to dispute their school assignment, if their assignment is other than their school of origin. In determining the best interest of the student, the Corporation shall, to the extent feasible, keep the student in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the homeless student's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth. If the student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian, a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, will be provided to the homeless student's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth.
At the request of the parent or guardian, or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local homeless liaison, transportation shall be provided for a homeless student to and from the school of origin if the homeless student continues to live in the Corporation in which the school of origin is located. If the homeless student moves to an area served by another corporation, though continuing his/her education at the school of origin, the corporation of origin and the corporation in which the student resides must agree upon a method to apportion responsibility and costs for transportation to the school of origin.
Contact information for the Madison Consolidated Schools Liaison for Homeless Children:
Lori Slygh, Assistant Director of Programs
812-274-8001, ext. 198
Additional links & resources:
Homeless Student's Rights
IDOE McKinney-Vento: Homeless Children & Youth Program
State & Federal Resources
Jefferson County, IN Resources - newsletters and bulletins with local information
IDOE State Coordinator Information:
Flora Jones, Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities
Charlie Gibson, Homeless Education Specialist