(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that because of the growing number of children and families who are homeless in West Virginia there is a need to ensure that all homeless children receive a proper education. It is the intent of the Legislature that no child shall be denied the benefits of a free education in the public schools because the child is homeless.
The Legislature further finds that programs and materials must be made available to homeless and at-risk children to assure opportunities for an equal education. Programs shall include, but not be limited to, incorporating the ideas of academic achievement, career exploration, self-esteem enhancement, behavior modification and other programs relating to student development.
(b) As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires, "homeless child" means:
(1) A child who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; or
(2) A child who has a primary nighttime residence which is:
(i) A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing for the mentally ill;
(ii) An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
(iii) A public or private place not designed for, nor ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(c) "Homeless child" does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an act of Congress or a state law.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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