Preliminary Overview of Programs and Changes Included in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
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Education for Homeless Children and Youth
(Title X, Part C, amendments to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)


Retains, with some changes, the current program to provide grants to States to help ensure that homeless children and youth have access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education, as other children and youth.

Changes from Current Law

  • Separate Schools for Homeless Children and Youth - Prohibits States that receive McKinney-Vento funds from segregating homeless students, except for short periods of time for health and safety emergencies or to provide temporary, special, supplementary services. Exempts States with separate schools for homeless children or youth operating in fiscal year 2000 in a covered county (San Joaquin County, CA; Orange County, CA; San Diego County, CA; and Maricopa County, AZ). Requires the Secretary of Education to report on separate schools and LEAs that operate such schools not later than 2 years after the date of enactment.

  • Transportation - Requires an LEA (at the request of the parent or guardian) to provide, or arrange for, transportation to the homeless child's school of origin when that school is within the LEA. When the school of origin is in a different LEA from the LEA where the homeless child is living, requires both LEAs to agree on a method for sharing transportation responsibility and costs.

  • Enrollment in School of Choice - Requires that, pending resolution of a dispute about school placement, an LEA immediately enroll a homeless student in the student's school of choice and provide a written explanation of the rights of appeal to the parent or guardian and student.

  • Reservation of Funds for State Activities - Permits State reservations of up to 25 percent (or, in the case of States receiving the minimum award, 50 percent) for State activities. Formerly, States could reserve up to 5 percent of their award or up to the hold-harmless (the amount of their 1990 allocation), whichever was greater. At the 2002 appropriation level, most States would be allowed to reserve larger amounts for State activities.

  • Subgrants - Requires that subgrants to LEAs be awarded competitively. Under previous law, subgrants were awarded based on need.

  • Local Liaison - Requires all districts, not just districts receiving subgrants, to designate local liaisons for homeless children and youth.

  • Distribution of Funds - Requires, rather than authorizes, 1 percent to be transferred to the Department of the Interior for BIA schools, and increases the State minimum award amount to the greater of $150,000, ?? of 1 percent, or the amount of the State's fiscal year 2001 award.


  • Federal - Requires the Secretary to report on the status of education of homeless children and youths, including information on: (1) the education of homeless children and youth, and (2) the actions of the Secretary and the effectiveness of the programs supported under the subtitle. Report is due 4 years after the date of enactment.

  • States - Requires States to collect and report (to the Secretary) information on the nature and extent of problems homeless children and youth have in gaining access to the same free appropriate public education as their non-homeless peers.

  • Separate Schools - Requires separate schools to meet the same academic requirements as regular public schools. Secretary must report to Congress within 2 years on the operations of these schools.


  • Federal to State - Formula based upon each State's current year Title I share.

  • Within State - Competitive awards to LEAs.


  • Federal - 0.1 percent for the Outlying Areas, 1 percent for BIA schools, and the Secretary may reserve funds for technical assistance, evaluation, and dissemination.

  • State - Up to 25 percent (or up to 50 percent in the case of States receiving minimum awards) may be reserved for State leadership activities.

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Last Modified: 01/19/2005