The U.S. Department of Education has recently issued federal guidelines to school districts to better assist students without a permanent home. The guidelines will become mandatory on October 1, 2016. Homeless students and those who move a lot experience significant social, emotional, and academic challenges.

Here is an excerpt from a July 27 ABC News story on the topic

“In my experience, this is an unprecedented effort to really shine a light on what homeless students are facing,” said Barbara Duffield, director of policy and programs at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, an organization working in tandem with the Department of Education.

The guidelines include prioritizing the identification of homeless students, including designating and training a “school liaison” within each district to help provide students with professional development and college readiness.

The guidelines also help ensure coordination with various groups, like law enforcement, juvenile and family courts, mental health groups, and public housing agencies.

It’s a subject that hits close to home for Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

“As a kid, home was a scary and unpredictable place for me and I moved around a lot after my parents passed away,” King said. “I know from my own experience and from my conversations with homeless students that school can save lives.”

You can read the full story here.