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Sat. May 18th, 2024
Legislation includes Davis-Bass legislation that would ensure educational stability for foster youth
WASHINGTON–Congressmember Karen Bass (D-Calif.)– co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, and Congressmember Danny K. Davis (D-IL)–Co-chair of the Education and Labor Taskforce of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed S. 1177, the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.” The legislation incorporated H.R.3087, the “Education Stability for Foster Youth Act,” introduced by Reps. Davis and Bass:

“Congress took an important step yesterday to ensure that the nearly 400,000 young people who are a part of our nation’s foster care system receive the support they deserve to succeed in school and receive a quality education. We have heard from young people across the nation who have detailed the problems they faced in receiving a stable and quality education while in the child welfare system. From lost records preventing them from entering schools to constant changes in schools resulting in young people in the foster care system graduating high school with a junior high school reading level, we simply must do better for these students. Republicans and Democrats said in a single voice today that students in the foster care system must receive a stable education, and we look forward to President Obama signing this important bill.

“The final legislation ensures that foster youth can remain in their current school when they enter care or change placements, allows immediate enrollment in a new school and prompt access to educational records, requires local school districts and child welfare agencies to work together to ensure funding for transportation exists so students can remain in the school they know regardless of where they are placed. Educational stability for foster youth is good for our students, good for our schools, and good for the country.

“A stable education is key to educational success. Unfortunately, the educational system all too often puts foster youth at a disadvantage. Children in the foster youth system experience on average over three placements, often forcing them to change schools when they change homes. Studies have consistently concluded that foster youth change schools more often than students not in the foster care system, and children who change schools frequently make less academic progress than their peers.

“One of the biggest reasons foster youth face delays in enrolling in school when they are initially placed in foster care or when they change homes is lost or misplaced school records. A study in New York City found that 42 percent of foster youth experienced a delay in school enrollment while in foster care, and nearly half experienced a delay because of lost or misplaced records.

“We commend leadership from both sides of the aisle and in both the House and the Senate who ensured that stability for foster youth stayed in the final bill as well as for the support it received from both Democrats and Republicans on the House floor today. We look forward not just to this legislation becoming law, but also working with states and local school districts to ensure that the new law will be effectively implemented.”

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