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
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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.