A General Guide to Pennsylvania's Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program
The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program was authorized by Title VII, Subtitle B of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, and more recently under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.
This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing with the problem of homelessness in America. Per the McKinney-Vento Act (for full text, go to this United States Department of Education website at (www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg116.html), Pennsylvania’s primary goal for its ECYEH Program is to educate local education agencies (LEA) and other entities who work with children, youth and families, on the rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness. They should also work collaboratively to eliminate barriers that may impede enrollment, attendance, or receipt of services that support academic success – including special student populations such as preschool-aged children experiencing homelessness, unaccompanied youth and out-of-school youth. The ECYEH Program provides support for activities or services that enable these children and youth to enroll, attend and succeed in school. The program is authorized to provide funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to coordinate the enrollment and delivery of services for the educational success of children and youth experiencing homelessness. This booklet is a brief overview of some important issues surrounding child homelessness – such as who they are, how they are affected by homelessness and their available educational choices and federal rights. The booklet should raise awareness regarding students experiencing homelessness.