Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Kendra Garrett

Abstract

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which was passed in the late 1980’s, set provisions to help remove the barriers to receiving an education for the more than 1.35 million children living in homelessness today. In the 25 years that have passed since the enactment of this legislation McKinney-Vento continues to define the educational rights afforded to homeless and highly mobile students. The purpose of this research paper was to determine if this legislation continues to meet the needs of homeless and highly mobile students. In this qualitative study, four district liaisons to homeless and highly mobile students were interviewed. The school districts that these liaisons served represented rural, suburban and urban districts within Minnesota. After analyzing the data, six main themes and multiple subthemes emerged. The six main themes were: district liaison role, collaboration, economic climate, funding, unmet student needs, and needed changes to McKinney-Vento Legislation. While McKinney-Vento Legislation provides an important framework for the educational rights of homeless and highly mobile students, more work needs to be done to provide the same educational experience as housed students. While this could include many recommendations, the most important is providing equitable funding for all school districts with homeless and highly mobile students.

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