The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures that homeless students have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. According to this federal law, states must provide transportation services (among others) for students facing housing insecurity so they can continue to attend school. This helps improve educational outcomes by ensuring no student is left behind due to a lack of transportation.
McKinney-Vento students and children experiencing homelessness
Did you know that over one million children and youth experiencing homelessness are enrolled in public schools in the U.S.? The National Center for Homeless Education also reports that 7% to 8% of students enrolled in each grade, starting from kindergarten, are homeless.
School districts play an essential role in ensuring the academic success of McKinney-Vento students. To help these vulnerable students reach their full potential, it is crucial for school districts to provide them with safe transportation to and from school while creating a consistent educational environment.
Challenges transporting students facing housing insecurity
Homeless students tend to move frequently and may live in motels, shelters, or with other relatives due to housing insecurity. This makes it difficult for school districts to establish a consistent pick-up and drop-off location that is convenient for the student while ensuring their safety.
Due to the lack of stable housing, there may be more suitable transportation options than the traditional school bus for McKinney-Vento students, such as alternative student transportation that complements existing bus routes by focusing on efficient routing.
Benefits of alternative student transportation
By using smaller vehicles like sedans, minivans, and SUVs, alternative student transportation can meet the unique needs of McKinney-Vento students.
Three of the most significant benefits of using technology-enabled McKinney-Vento transportation services:
- Flexibility in scheduling trips
Small-capacity vehicles provide flexible transportation solutions for students experiencing homelessness. While traditional school bus routes may not be able to cater to their specific transportation needs, alternative transportation providers can adjust their routes and schedules to make transportation more accessible.
- Safe and reliable journeys
Reliable McKinney-Vento transportation providers strictly adhere to national and state safety guidelines, including background checks, driver training, and a 51-point vehicle inspection. They also utilize modern technology like GPS tracking to give parents and caregivers visibility into their child’s journey.
- Improve cost-efficiency
Alternative transportation providers continually adjust their routes to ensure they remain cost-effective and that McKinney-Vento students get to school efficiently, even when their address changes.
Providing vulnerable students with equal access to education
Using smaller vehicles ensures that McKinney-Vento students get the same learning opportunities as their peers – allowing them to reach their full potential. Not only does utilizing smaller vehicles provide personalized, flexible, and consistent journeys to school, it also helps school districts reduce costs while giving parents and guardians peace of mind.
Read our whitepaper to learn more about EverDriven’s safe, reliable, and cost-efficient McKinney-Vento transportation solution.