McKinney-Vento Law Into Practice Brief Series
Changing schools greatly impedes students’ academic and social growth. A “rule of thumb” is that it takes a child four to six months to recover academically after changing schools. Highly mobile students have also been found to have lower test scores and overall academic performance than peers who do not change schools. Therefore, the law requires LEAs to keep students in their schools of origin, to the extent feasible, unless it is against the parent or guardian’s wishes. Students are also now permitted to remain in their schools of origin for the duration of their homelessness. The resulting educational stability will enhance students’ academic and social growth, while permitting schools to benefit from the increased test scores and achievement shown to result from student continuity.