The Stewart B. McKinney – Vento Act


The Stewart B. McKinney-Vento Act for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth program is to ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to a free, appropriate public education, and to be able to enroll in and attend school.

The Counties of Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean are served by a regional McKinney-Vento Homeless Program. Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission ( M.O.E.S.C.) serves as the lead agency in this New Jersey Department of Education Program. The intent of the homeless program is to insure that homeless children and youth have equal access to a free, appropriate public education and are able to enroll in school and attend school without delay.

The New Jersey Department of Education has established this program to focus on the provision of instructional services for the homeless that are supplemental to the regular school program. The New Jersey Department of Education has emphasized the need to utilize referral services to appropriate community-base organizations with the goal of enabling all homeless children and youth to meet the challenging state content and student performance standards. The mission of this program is to assist in the establishment of partnerships between educational agencies and community-based organizations to provide for homeless children and youth service.

This tri-county program focuses on ongoing collaborative meetings of educational and agency professional personnel to build appropriate referral and service linkages. Collaborative partnership meetings include the following personnel to assure the building of strong linkages between the school and community:

  • School District Homeless Liaison
  • School Building Education Initiative Liaison
  • Support Agency Liaison
  • School District Directors of Special Services

The County Children’s InterAgency Coordinating Council serves as the major linkage to outside agencies providing referral and the matching of homeless students and families to appropriate services.

The following homeless student services shall be readily available through this program by the completion and submission of the Request for Emergent Services Funds form by the school district school liaison:

  • School supplies
  • Academic tutoring
  • Medical evaluation
  • Emergent Child Study/Related Service evaluation
  • Youth adjustment counseling
  • Excess cost of transportation percentage reimbursement

A pantry of school supplies has been developed so that immediate needs may be addressed. The supplies that are immediately available include:  index cards, crayons, composition books, portfolio – 2 pocket, elementary/secondary school calculators, marker-highlighters, barrel pencil sharpeners, glue sticks, pens and pencils, spiral notebooks, filler paper, assorted binders and rulers.

Each school district homeless liaison has been supplied with a Homeless Manual for the implementation of services as needed for identified children and youth. Parents and guardians of homeless children and youth may register a student at the nearest school when experiencing homelessness and request to speak with the School District Homeless Liaison or designee at the time of registration.

The District Homeless Liaison or designee shall be able to provide information to the parent/guardian concerning:

  • registration
  • school of attendance options
  • tuition
  • transportation
  • services
  • appeals