Educational Policy and Reform for Homeless Students: An Overview

This article provides an overview of educational reform efforts that have been targeted toward assisting homeless students. The authors first review some of the difficulties and barriers that confront homeless children in terms of school access and academic success. The authors then examine four different types of educational reforms for homeless students--mainstreamed schools, supplemental supports, transitional schools (separate schools), and modified comprehensive schools--in relation to the existing barriers for homeless students. Using a case study approach, the authors briefly describe the first modified comprehensive school in the nation and the programs that are being implemented at the school. This article concludes that school reforms for homeless children need to be tailored to the specific context of the community and not be based on national one-size-fits-all reform policy. Recommendations are provided to assist in the planning of educational programs to enhance the academic success of the homeless student.

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Education and Urban Society