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Advocating for the Educational Rights of Homeless Children and Youth

(108 reviews)

Produced on August 03, 2020

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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Education

Course Description

Homeless children and youth face numerous barriers to participating, attending, and succeeding in school. This course, presented by Alexandra Santa Ana and Michael Santos of Bay Area Legal Aid, provides a broad overview of the educational rights of homeless children and youth and how lawyers can address their legal needs through the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento”) and other related federal laws. Participants will also learn how to advocate for children and youth who are disenrolled from their local schools when they get involved with the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This session explores the intersection between education, homelessness, the juvenile, and criminal justice systems, and the role lawyers can play in ensuring educational stability, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the education rights of homeless children and youth guaranteed under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, learn how this federal law is implemented on the state and local levels, and highlight common issues that legal advocates can address
  2. Examine how the juvenile and criminal justice systems impact the education of homeless children and youth. 
  3. Gain insight on different ways lawyers can get involved in addressing the educational needs of homeless children and youth

Credit Information

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Michael Santos

Bay Area Legal Aid

Michael Santos is a housing attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid practicing eviction defense in the City and County of San Francisco. Prior to joining Bay Area Legal Aid, Michael’s work focused on advocating for homeless youth access to education through public education, impact litigation, and policy advocacy. Michael Santos has had a long history of working on the rights of low-income and underrepresented communities through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Clinton Foundation, and various non-profit organizations. He currently serves on the board of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and is a Commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness & Poverty. Michael graduated from Brown University with a double concentration in Biomedical Engineering and Ethnic Studies. He received his JD from University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He is admitted to the California, New York, and District of Columbia state bars.

Alexandra Santa Ana

Bay Area Legal Aid

Alexandra is an attorney with the Youth Justice Project at Bay Area Legal Aid. Alexandra’s work focuses on providing wraparound legal services and removing barriers to safety and stability for young people who are experiencing homelessness, are involved in the delinquency and dependency systems, or are survivors of human trafficking. Prior to joining Bay Area Legal Aid, Alexandra was a Public Service Venture Fund fellow at National Center for Youth Law where she worked on cases involving access to education and school push out. Alexandra graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sociology and received her JD from Harvard Law School. She is admitted to the California state bar.


Lise H.

good lecture; want more

Lisa K.

Very timely presentation.

Matthew B.

Thank you to the fabulous presenters!

Micheal D.

Very relevant issue for my area of work

Mia V.

Thank you!

Michael C.

Informative. Thanks.

Ali W.

Great presentation! Good mix of data, legislation, and common/best practices.

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