What is Project LEARN?
Project LEARN (Lawyers Education Access Resource Network) is a cutting-edge initiative of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, designed to ensure children who are homeless have a stable school life.
The Law Center trains lawyers across the country on homeless children's education rights, giving them the tools to:
- Train and provide support to school officials in their communities;
- Provide legal support to families when schools violate the law; and
- Advocate for new protections for homeless children at the federal, state, and local levels.
DLA Piper is the founding partner of this new initiative.
What education rights do homeless children have?
The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees homeless children the right to:
- Immediately enroll in a new school without required documentation;
- Receive free transportation to and from school;
- Receive free school meals; and
- Access a full range of extracurricular activities.
For more information, read our comprehensive handbook.
Why is it so important for children to stay in the same school after becoming homeless?
The support of a school community is vital for children's emotional health, as well as their future ability to succeed in a competitive job market and break the cycle of poverty.
Studies show that "mobile" students -- those with two or more school changes in the previous year -- perform significantly worse in reading and math, are 77 percent more likely to act out, and are 50 percent less likely to graduate high school. Moreover, people who fail to graduate high school are more than twice as likely to slip into poverty in a single year, 8 times more likely to be incarcerated, and live 9.2 years fewer on average.
School stability is often the deciding factor in whether children achieve their dreams or get lost on the margins of society. With America's 1.4 million homeless children at greatest risk, it's imperative that Project LEARN continues expanding to meet the increasing need.
How can I help?
You can give the gift of an education.
To make a one-time or recurring monthly donation, click here!
To learn more, read our fact sheet or contact Cecilia Dos Santos, our pro bono coordinator.