Homeless children and youth face barriers to enrollment, attendance, and success in school that other children do not confront. These barriers include transportation, official records requirements, and access to special programs.
The Stewart B. McKinney Act of 1987 mandates that states receiving federal McKinney funds eliminate these educational barriers so that homeless children and youth have the same access to free, appropriate public education as non homeless children and youth. Arkansas is among the states now receiving McKinney funds.
At the request of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families conducted a study in the spring to determine if Arkansas is in compliance with the provisions of the McKinney Act and, if not, to identify and address compliance deficiencies. This was done by surveying service providers about the barriers to education faced by homeless children and youth in their area. The results of this survey, and recommendations for improvement, are presented in this report.