Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miranda, Wilma

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


United States. Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act; Illinois. Education for Homeless Children Act; Homeless children--Education (Elementary)--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area; Educational law and legislation--Illinois; School superintendents--Illinois--Attitudes


The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the implementation of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act in selected Illinois local school districts in order to determine how the special needs of homeless students as required by federal and state legislation are being addressed. The following research questions were the basis for analysis: 1) What level of concern is expressed by the principals regarding the education of homeless students? 2) What are the main strategies used by elementary schools to implement the law and lower barriers to enrollment? 3) To what extent are the special needs of homeless students being addressed? A review of literature was conducted including legal and policy documents. Questionnaires were mailed to 33 elementary-school principals from seven southwest suburban Chicago school districts. Thirty-nine percent of the surveys were returned. The results describe concerns about the implementation of the homeless assistance laws at the local school level as well as any policy implications. Local level implementation of the homeless assistance laws is far from adequate due to the following reasons: Inadequate funding of the McKinney Act results in a lack of school personnel to assist in the enrollment of homeless students and also to search for documentation from a student's former school; schools and administrators require more direction from the State on procedures to enroll homeless students without the normally required documentation, such as a proof of residency; and finally, the lack of incentive for the local school districts to follow the laws. Recommendations will be offered to improve educational services to homeless students along with suggestions for further research.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [73]-77)


vi, 82 pages




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