The Role of Public Policy in the Educational Lives of our Most Vulnerable Youth: The McKinney-Vento Act and Homeless Children a Critical Policy Ethnography




Cunningham, Keith A.

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This critical policy ethnography analyzes the McKinney-Vento Act and the impact it has on the lives of homeless youth. Data comes from conversations with research partners situated in various key roles within the McKinney-Vento bureaucracy and the researcher's experience as an educator and participant observer at a homeless shelter and school as well as conversations at district and state level administrative offices. Analysis was informed by an ethic of care framework and a historiography was created to chronicle the policy's genealogy, intent, and guiding values. Utilizing an open systems model and creative nonfiction, the findings are presented in a deliberate effort that puts a human face to the families the policy impacts. Major findings and recommendations include a need for increased awareness and compliance monitoring of the policy as well as an investment of additional resources to adequately respond to McKinney-Vento issues throughout the public education system.



Education of homeless youth, Critical policy analysis, Critical ethnography, Educational policy, Activist research


Cunningham, K. A. (2013). <i>The role of public policy in the educational lives of our most vulnerable youth: The McKinney-Vento Act and homeless children a critical policy ethnography</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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