Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is considered a homeless student?

A.  1. Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are: Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, cars, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, camping grounds or similar settings due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; Living in emergency or transitional shelters;  abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.

A.  2. Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described by A. 1 above.

A.  3. Unaccompanied youth, including any youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, such as runaways, youth denied housing by their families (sometimes referred to as throwaway children and youth), and school-age unwed mothers, living in homes for unwed mothers, who have no other housing available.

2. Are all children and youth who live with friends or relatives considered homeless?

No. Lack of affordable housing and permanence of the living arrangement, not cultural preference or the desire to save money, are criteria to assist in determining who should be considered homeless

3. How Quickly Must Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness be Enrolled in School?

Schools must immediately enroll a child or youth experiencing homelessness, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment.

4. Must schools enroll students in homeless situations who do not have previous school records?

Yes. Students experiencing homelessness must be enrolled in school while waiting for the previous school records to be received. Parents can request copies of critical documents such as Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), gifted testing records, and report cards from the sending school

5. Can a school require proof of where the student lives (rent receipt, lease agreement, utility receipt) that prevents or delays enrollment?

No. Homeless students, by definition, lack a fixed residence and cannot be required to provide traditional proof of residency, if doing so is not possible or would delay enrollment. An affidavit explaining the lack of residency proof can be completed as an alternative.

6. If families in homeless situations move within a school district, can students stay at the same school, even if they move out of the school’s attendance zone?

Yes, the federal McKinney-Vento Act states that, when feasible, students have a right to stay in the school of origin. The school of origin is the school that the child attended when permanently housed or the last school in which the student was enrolled.

Migrant Student Programs

1. What does the term “Migrant” mean?

The term “Migrant” refers to mobility. Migrant workers are those workers who move in order to obtain seasonal or temporary work in agriculture or in an eligible agricultural related or fishing industry. The term “migrant” does not refer to an individual’s immigration status.

2. What are the student eligibility requirements for the Migrant Education Program?

Students must be between the ages of birth through 21 and the child of a seasonal or temporary agricultural or fishery worker or, on his/her, own is a temporary agricultural or fishery worker. The family must have moved to seek or to obtain seasonal or temporary agricultural or fishing work in the preceding 36 months. The qualifying move must be beyond the current school district boundary.

3. Who do we talk to in order to determine if our child is eligible for the program?

School staff should be able to identify the district liaison for the Migrant Education Program. If your district does not have a liaison you may contact the State Migrant Education Program Office at 602-542-5169.

4. What services are provided to students through the Migrant Education Program?

School Districts that have a Migrant Education Program provide supplemental instructional and support services approved by the Arizona Department of Education.  These services may include student tutoring, extended day, summer school and referral to agencies providing health and other social services. Services may vary between districts

5. What services are provided to parents through the Migrant Education Program?

The Migrant Education Program does not provide direct services to parents. However, the program supports and funds parental involvement activities.