AB 490 Summary

Ensuring educational rights and school stability for foster youth

*Includes updates from AB 1933 and SB 1568, (Education Code (EC) § 48853.5)

Effective January 1, 2004, AB 490 (Steinberg), Chapter 862, imposes new duties and rights related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care. The Act’s key provisions are as follows:

  1. Establishes legislative intent that foster youth are ensured access to the same opportunities to meet academic achievement standards to which all students are held, maintain stable school placements, be placed in the least restrictive educational placement and, have access to the same academic resources, services and extracurricular and enrichment activities as all other children. Makes clear that education and school placement decisions are to be dictated by the best interest of the child.
  2. Creates school stability for foster children by allowing them to remain at their school of origin for the duration of the court’s jurisdiction including as they move school levels through high school (AB 1933). Maintains school stability for foster youth even after court jurisdiction has been terminated (SB 1568). Students are permitted to stay in school of origin through their eighth grade year and students in high school are permitted to remain in school of origin through graduation.