Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H Stronge

Committee Member

Margaret E Constantino

Committee Member

Patricia A Popp


McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act, reauthorized witheducational mandates in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is federal law that protects and supports the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness. The law requires local school districts to appoint a local education agency (LEA) liaison responsible for coordinating identification, enrollment, and outreach efforts. This study investigated the implementation of job responsibilities and practices of Virginia LEA liaisons and changes in the responsibilities that may be attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The research questions addressed time, effort and mitigating factors of LEA liaisons using Karl Weick’s Sensemaking as a background theoretical framework. A convergent mixed methods approach utilized two researcher-developed instruments, the LEA Homeless Education Liaison Time and Effort Survey and the LEA Homeless Education Liaison Semi-Structured Interview. The study surveyed 35 Virginia-based LEA liaisons and interviewed 8 LEA liaisons representing all Virginia Superintendent’s regions. Results revealed several areas school districts should consider: (a) implementing increased efforts for addressing family needs through outreach and identification; (b) assessing human resources staffing; and (c) exploring virtual learning options to maintain a student’s school of origin. With unprecedented times, this study provides a reflection on the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on Virginia LEA job responsibilities as they address the complex needs of students who experience homelessness.



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