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Scholars 2009 - 2010

Gabrielle Wyatt

Gabrielle Wyatt, Political Science
“Homeless Children and the Foreclosure Crisis: Implications of the McKinney-Vento Act”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. George La Noue
Expected Graduation Date: May 2010

The purpose of this research is to analyze how Maryland public school districts are responding to the increase of homeless children due to the rising foreclosure rate. While home foreclosure is not a foreign concept, the United States is currently in the midst of a historic foreclosure crisis. The crisis is seen in the stock market, the housing industry, and in the economy as a whole. A forgotten causality of the rising home foreclosure rate is the increasing number of homeless children in need of services. Under the McKinney-Vento Act of 1987, federal law guarantees homeless children the right to a free and appropriate public education. Historically, however, school systems have been weak in compliance, making it difficult for homeless children to access, enroll, and be successful in school. Throughout the upcoming summer and school year, I will be reviewing accommodation policies passed by local Boards of Education in Maryland, as well as interviewing key school officials in Maryland to measure how schools are responding to the increase of homeless children. The results will hopefully not only help us to gauge the effect of increasing foreclosure rates on public schools systems, but also how accommodation policies can be revised to provide homeless children access to public education.