Navigating the Intersections of the McKinney-Vento Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Coordination to Help Homeless Children and Youth with Disabilities (October 2015)


Coordination between education for homeless children and youth (EHCY) programs, which implement the McKinney-Vento Act, and special education programs, which implement IDEA, is key to ensure that homeless children and youth with disabilities receive the full range of services to meet their complex needs. Yet, many school districts or local educational agencies (LEAs) struggle with aligning laws, policies, and practices across programs to best meet the needs of these students.

This brief offers some practical strategies to help local homeless education liaisons (subsequently referred to as local liaisons) and special education program administrators create a coordinated approach to serve homeless children and youth with disabilities. Drawing on good practices shared for over a decade, including a policy forum hosted in 2008 by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the brief  features a collaborative process that will enable local EHCY and special education staff to work through complex issues from an administrative and policy perspective.


All Disabilities Collaboration Elementary Federal Laws High School Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Middle School Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources