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Homeless Education Assistance

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Homeless Education - Know Your Rights
Know Your RightsPDF document link to Know Your Rights


If I am homeless, where will my child go to school?


As a homeless parent, you have the right to decide, along with your child’s school, whether it is in the best interest of your child to:

Stay in the same school he or she attended before you became homeless (this is the “school of origin”); or transfer to the school that is closest to your new location.

​ To the extent that is feasible, the Local School System will enroll your child in either school.

What is in the “best interest” of my child; to stay in the same school or change schools?


The decision about your child'​s school enrollment will take into consideration factors such as:

  • Special needs for your child
  • Continuity of instruction
  • Likely length of stay in your new place of residence
  • Location
  • Time and distance to transport your child to and from school.

If I am homeless, what documents do I need to enroll my child in school?


  • School Records
  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunizations

But, if you do not have these documents, your child cannot be denied entry. The school must help obtain any documents needed for enrollment.

Can my child ride the school bus?


Your child's school will provide transportation for your child.

You cannot be denied access to the school that is in the best interest of your child because of lack of transportation.

“… the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program is to ensure that all homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschool education, provided to other children and youth”
-Stewart B. McKinney
Homeless Assistance Act

Does my child have the same rights as other school children?


Your child has the same rights to school programs and services as all children, including:

  • School Breakfast & Lunch
  • Before/After School Programs
  • Preschool Programs
  • Transportation
  • Special Education
  • Gifted and Talented Programs
  • Career & Technology Education

Who do I call if I have questions?


Call your Local District's Homeless Education Coordinator:

ALLEGANY (301) 759-2002​

ANNE ARUNDEL (410) 518-9872

BALTIMORE CITY (410) 396-8904

BALTIMORE (410) 887-6485

CALVERT (410) 535-7234

CAROLINE (410) 479-3253

CARROLL (410) 386-1838

CECIL (410) 996-1050

CHARLES (301) 934-7326

DORCHESTER 410-228-4747 Ext. 1055

FREDERICK (301) 644-5290

GARRETT (301) 334-8938

HARFORD (410) 588-5283

HOWARD (410) 313-7335

KENT (410) 810-3170

MONTGOMERY ( 301) 230-0686

PRINCE GEORGE’S (301) 925-2482

QUEEN ANNE’S (410) 758-2403

SOMERSET (410) 651-6269

ST. MARY’S (301) 475-5511

TALBOT (410) 822-0330

WASHINGTON (301) 766-2962

WICOMICO (410) 677-4469

WORCESTER (410) 635-5079


Melissa M. Surgeon
Education Program Specialist I
Title I Program Improvement and Family Support
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
410-767-0300 office
410-333-8010 fax