Homeless Education

A homeless individual is someone who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.  This may include anyone who, due to a lack of housing, lives:

  • In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative placement
  • In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
  • Doubled up with other people due to economic need or financial hardship

Homeless students face multiple challenges and barriers to succeed in school.  Eligible homeless children have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.    
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school or origin, (the school last enrolled in, and attended when permanently housed) it that is your  preference.  If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of the student, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school or origin, if requested and it's mutually determined this is in the best interest of the child.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to their children’s needs.

When a dispute arises over eligibility, school selection, or enrollment, the child or unaccompanied youth shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute process information is provided in the document listed below in our forms area.
If you have questions related to the education of Homeless children and youth, or would like additional information please contact:

Lenita Click

Local Liaison

TN Dept of Education Homeless site