McKinney-Vento Education in Maine

McKinney Vento Know Your Rights

What is the McKinney-Vento Act?

The Maine Department of Education and Maine schools follow the provisions of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This law helps students whose housing situations are impacting their education. All students are guaranteed the right to a free, appropriate, public education. They can remain enrolled in the schools they have been attending even if they are temporarily staying out of the district but also have the right to enroll in their new school of residence. To help keep students in school during times of housing instability, enrollment should be immediate, even if families cannot provide typically required documents or immunization records right away. Schools must provide transportation for students who need it to attend school. McKinney-Vento protections apply to all public school students, pre-K through grade 12 who “lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence”, including children and youth:

  • Sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate housing
  • Living in emergency or transitional housing
  • Abandoned in hospitals
  • Having a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory students meeting the descriptions above

For Families: McKinney-Vento (2 minute video)

For Educators: McKinney-Vento (2 minute video)

For info on the dispute resolution process, click here.

For children not yet in public school, please contact the Child Development Services Liaison, Jackie Hersom at, or (207) 795 4022.


Looking for support in finding housing?

1. Check with your local Housing Navigator

  • Aroostook County: Aroostook County Action Program, Presque Isle Housing Authority, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness
  • Kennebec, Somerset Counties & Brunswick: Immigrant Resource Center of Maine
  • Androscoggin County: Lewiston Housing Authority, Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, ProsperityME
  • Midcoast and Penobscot County: Penquis Community Action Agency, Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness
  • Cumberland County - ProsperityME, South Portland Housing Authority
  • York County - Quality Housing Coalition, York Community Service Association & Fair Tide

2. Hub Coordinator

3. General Assistance - Families may be eligible for General Assistance if they do not have the income or resources to meet basic needs. If you are unable to reach your local GA office or you have questions or concerns, call our toll-free hotline at 1-800-442-6003. General Assistance | Department of Health and Human Services ( For help with legal assistance related to GA: General Assistance in Maine | Pine Tree Legal Assistance (

4. Local Housing Authority - Housing Authorities’ mission is to develop, provide and assist decent, safe and affordable housing for lower income persons. MaineHousing administers voucher programs in all areas of the state not served by a Local Housing Authority.

5. Local Shelter Provider– Even if an individual is not interested in staying at a shelter, many shelters have programs and resources to support finding housing for anyone facing homelessness in the community, regardless if they stay at the shelter or not. The shelters listed below provide emergency shelter. For information on other shelters or resources in your area, dial 2-1-1.

Other Statewide Resources

How can I find the McKinney-Vento liaison in my district? Every Maine school system has a local McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist families and youth who are experiencing housing instability.  Click here to find the Liaison in your Maine school district.



Resources picture
Resources for Families

How to find my liaison? Every Maine school system has a local McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist families and youth who are experiencing housing instability.  Click here to find the Liaison in any Maine school district. 

Know Your Rights 

Info on McKinney-Vento for Families & Youth

Resources for families and youth experiencing housing instability 

What is McKinney-Vento? (5 mins)

Find additional MV recordings here!

National Runaway Safeline 

Illegal Evictions Flyer (English)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Arabic)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (French)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Haitian Creole)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Lingala)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Portuguese)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Somali)

Illegal Evictions Flyer (Spanish)

Professional development pic

Professional Development 

Find current Maine DOE PD opportunities here 

    New! Recorded annual liaison training for 2022-23 (83 mins)

    For school staff: McKinney 101 (PowerPoint)  

    Liaison Annual Training 22-23 (PDF)

    MV Orientation/Refresher Video (90 mins)

    McKinney-Vento Data Video (30 mins)

    What is McKinney-Vento Video (5 mins)

    McKinney & PK (PowerPoint)

    McKinney & COVID (PowerPoint)

    MV Community Partners Presentation (PowerPoint)

    Training Resources for School Staff

    Find additional MV recordings here!

    Step-by-Step for Liaisons

    1. Determine eligibility under McKinney-Vento – if needed, MV Screener Form Option 1 - Document status in student information system.

    2. If the student in unaccompanied, determine caregiver, if applicable.  Caregiver Template for general educational decisions.

    3. If the child is M-V, unaccompanied, and identified for Special Education, set up an Educational Surrogate Parent

    3. Determine best interest for school placement, in partnership between the SAUs of origin and residence. Best Interest Determination Interview Checklist - Parents 

    4. Immediately enroll in school of residence without normally required documents OR arrange transportation for child to remain in school of origin, in partnership between the SAUs.

    5. Provide family/unaccompanied homeless youth/caregiver with information on their right to Dispute Resolution 

    6. Determine child’s needs to be able to succeed in school Sample MV Check-In Form / Student Needs Assessment

    7. Connect to referrals based on identified needs –  For UHY, see Sample Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification for Medical Consent And FAFSA Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Sample Form




    For numbers of eligible McKinney-Vento students statewide, click here and select “Public Funded Counts by Student Group Report” 

    Or review student demographics on the ESSA Dashboard

    McKinney-Vento Data webinar (30 mins)

    Maine McKinney-Vento Data from Ed Data Express

    Maine State Profile McKinney-Vento 



    Social media image 2social med



    Amelia Lyons Rukema
    McKinney-Vento Education Specialist
    Office of School and Student Supports
    (207) 557-1787