Education Legislation For Foster Youth

Bill Number & Education Code Category Effective Purpose
AB 490
EC §48853.5
School Stability/ School of Origin 2004 Landmark California legislation dealing for the education of children and youth in foster care Key Provisions
  • Immediate enrollment in school without necessary records
  • Remain in school of origin for duration of school year when placement changes if in the child’s best interest
  • Timely transfer of school records within 2 days
  • Districts must designate a staff person as the Foster Care Education Liaison to help with proper placement, enrollment and transfers
  • No penalties for school absences due to placement changes, court appearances or related court activities
  • Requires a comprehensive public school be considered as the first school placement option
  • Foster youth may remain enrolled in and attend school of origin pending resolution of a dispute
  • Foster youth cannot be denied enrollment or promotion due to missing textbooks or school fines
  • Allows for equal access to school and extracurricular programs
CA Rules of Court School Changes 2008
  • Requires the social worker or probation officer to notify the court, the child’s attorney, and the educational representative or surrogate parent, that the proposed placement or change of placement would result in a removal of the child from his/her school of origin
  • Requires the social worker or probation officer to notify the school district and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) about a potential school change at least 10 days before change of placement for a student with a disability and an active Individualized Education Program (IEP)
AB 167
EC § 51225.3
Graduation Requirements 2010
  • Exempts students in foster care from completing school district graduation requirements in excess of the state graduation requirements if the pupil transfers to the district, or transfers schools within the district, in grade 11 or 12, and if the pupil would not reasonably be able to complete the additional district requirements
AB 1933 –
Expands AB490
EC §48853.5
School of Origin 2011
  • Right to continue in the school of origin through the duration of court jurisdiction of the child, and through the end of the school year if the court’s jurisdiction is terminated prior to the end of the school year
  • School of origin includes matriculation in accordance with the district feeder patterns for transitions between grade levels
AB 194
EC § 66025.9
College Priority Enrollment 2011
  • Until January 2017, requires California State Universities and California Community Colleges and requests University of California that administers a priority enrollment system, to grant priority for registration for enrollment to foster youth or former foster youth
AB 1393
EC § 90001.5
College Priority Housing 2011
  • Requests California Community Colleges and requires California State University and University of California campuses to give priority for housing (including year-around) to current and former foster youth
AB 12
Family Code § 17552
Transitional Foster Care 2012
  • Extends transitional foster care services to eligible youth between the ages of 18 and 21 to enable them to stay in school and/or obtain employment
SB 578
EC § 51225.2
Partial Credits 2012
  • Requires school districts to issue partial credits for coursework completed by foster youth in a prior school if the entire coursework was not completed
  • Prohibits a school from requiring a foster youth to retake a complete course if a portion of the course was already completed
AB 1909
EC § 48853.5, 48911, & 48918.1
Discipline Notifications 2013
  • Requires school districts to provide notification to a foster youth’s court-appointed attorney & child welfare agency representative of pending expulsion proceedings or prior to a Manifestation Determination IEP meeting (for students with exceptional needs)
SB 1568 Expands AB 1933 EC § 48853.5 School of Origin 2013 Allows high school foster youth to continue his or her education in the school of origin through graduation if the jurisdiction of the court is terminated while the foster child is in high school. Does not require a district to provide transportation.
Bill Number & Education Code Category Effective Purpose
AB 216 Clarifies AB 167 EC § 51225.1 Graduation Requirements 2013
  • When may a student first qualify to graduate under AB 167? Students who transfer after completing their second year of high school, using either the number of credits earned or length of time of enrollment, whichever will make a student eligible
  • How long does a student have to complete the local graduation requirements? Students are eligible if they are not reasonably able to complete local graduation requirements by the end of their 4th year of high school, but also have the right to remain in high school for a 5th year to complete the local graduation requirements
  • What kind of notifications do schools have to provide if a student is found eligible for AB 167? Notification to student, education rights holder and social worker; notification required within 30 calendar days of transfer; notification must include student’s eligibility, its potential impact on college admissions, and inform the student of the right to remain in school for a 5th year to complete local graduation requirements
  • Who decides if the student should graduate under AB 167, if eligible? The student’s education rights holder, or the student (if they are 18 and hold their own education rights) has the authority to decide if the student should graduate under AB167 or remain in high school for a 5th year to complete the local graduation requirements.
  • When can eligibility for AB 167 be re-considered? If a student is not initially eligible for AB 167 at the time of the first school transfer, the student has a right to ask for re- consideration of eligibility at a later point and may be found eligible if the requirements are satisfied
  • Once eligible, does the AB167 graduation right continue even if a student’s foster case closes? Once a student is found eligible for AB 167, this right continues, regardless of whether the student’s foster case closes or the student transfers schools again
AB 1729 EC § 48900 & 48900.5 Discipline 2013
  • Authorizes a superintendent of the school district or principal to use alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the root causes of the pupil’s specific misbehavior
  • Requires the IEP team, for an individual with exceptional needs, to hold a meeting within 3 days to discuss the behavioral concerns and determine if a functional behavioral assessment and/or behavioral intervention plan are needed to address the behavior
AB 2537 EC § 48902 & 48915 Discipline 2013
  • Authorizes a principal or designee of a school to notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies of certain unlawful acts committed by a pupil that may result in suspension, expulsion or criminal liability of the pupil
  • Deletes the provision making a violation of that reporting requirement an infraction
SB 1088 EC § 48645.5 School Enrollement 2013
  • Prohibits public school from denying enrollment or readmission to a pupil solely on the basis that he or she has had contact with the juvenile justice system
AB 2616 EC § 48260 & 48264.5 Attendance 2013 A pupil shall be classified as truant and reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district if absent from school without a valid excuse for:
  • three full days in one school year
  • tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day on three occasions in a school year
  • any combination there of
SB 1135 Clarifies AB 167 EC § 51225.3 & 51225.1 Graduation Requirements 2013
  • Exempts high school foster students who transfer schools or school districts, during or after their third year of high school, from additional local graduation requirements
  • Applies to all foster youth and youth who were in foster care at the time of transfer
  • Clarifies that schools and school districts are required to evaluate whether pupils qualify for this exemption within 30 days of their transfer
  • Clarifies that schools cannot revoke an exemption but may exempt a student previously found not to qualify
  • Clarifies that schools must provide notice to the student and adult holding the right to make educational decisions for the student of whether the youth is exempt
AB 1573 EC § 48204 School of Origin Residency 2013
  • Deems a foster child who remains in his or her school of origin to have met the residency requirements for school attendance in that school district
Bill Number & Education Code Category Effective Purpose
AB 420 EC§48900(k) Discipline 2014
  • Eliminates the authority to suspend a student out of school or in-school in Kindergarten through third grade for “disruption” and “willful defiance”
  • Eliminates the authority to expel a student in Kindergarten-12th grade for “disruption” and “willful defiance”
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 & Title 1 Part A Amendments Reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 2016 Federal legislation that creates new Title 1, Part A assurances that will provide aLL children in any stage of foster care proceedings with protections similar to the homeless McKinney-Vento Act
Key Protections (not an exhaustive list):
School Stability
  • Make a best interest determination, presuming that staying in the school of origin is in the child’s best interest
  • Consider student-centered factors related to the child’s best interest, including factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health and safety of the child
School of Origin & Immediate Enrollment
  • School of origin Includes the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools
  • School of origin Includes preschool
  • Immediate Enrollment required even if the child missed application or enrollment deadlines
  • Schools should have policies to remove barriers due to fees, fines and absences
Credit Accrual, Full Participation, and College Readiness
  • Remove barriers preventing youth from receiving appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed
  • Opportunities to meet the same State academic achievement standards as other children
  • Assistance from school counselors to advise, prepare and improve readiness for college
  • Inform Foster Youth of their status as independent students for college financial aid
  • Ensure foster children have access to public preschool programs, administered by the districts
  • Access to Early Intervention services for students with disabilities
  • LEAs that receive Title I, Part A must include an assurance in their local Title I plans that the LEA will, by December 10, 2016 (ESEA section 1112(c)(5)(B)):
  • Collaborate with the state or local child welfare agency to develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their school or origin when in their best interest will be provided, arrange and funded for the duration of time in foster care
  • Ensure that children in foster care needing transportation to the school of origin will promptly receive transportation in a cost-effective manner and in accordance with the child welfare agency’s authority to use child welfare funding for school of origin transportation (section 475 (4)(A) of the Social Security Act); and
  • Ensure that, if there are additional costs incurred in providing transportation to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin, the LEA will provide transportation to the school of origin if:
  • the local child welfare agency agrees to reimburse the LEA for the cost of such transportation;
  • the LEA agrees to pay for the cost of such transportation; OR
  • the LEA and Local Child Welfare agency agree to share the cost of transportation(ESEA 1112 (c)(5)B))
Local Title I Plans
  • Local Title I Plans must contain an assurance that the Local Education Agency will collaborate with the Local Child Welfare Agency to designate a point of contact within the child welfare agency and to develop a transportation plan CHILD WELFARE POINT OF CONTACT:
Bill Number & Education Code Category Effective Purpose
AB 379 EC § 48853, 48853.5, 49069.5, 51225.1 & 51225.2 Complaint of Noncompliance 2016
  • Allows a student in foster care or one who is home less to enforce their educational rights through the State’s Uniform Complaint Procedure
  • Requires these rights to be included in the Annual Notification
AB 1567 EC § 8482.6, 8483, 8483.1, 8483.95 After School Education and Safety Program 2017
  • Gives first priority enrollment in after-school and before-school programs to pupils who are identified by the program as homeless youth or in foster care.
  • Requires the program to inform the parent or care giver of the right of homeless children and foster children to receive priority enrollment and how to request priority enrollment
  • Prohibits charging a fee to a family of a pupil who is identified as home less or in foster care
AB 1567 EC § 89340, 89341, 89342, 89344, 89345, 89346 Higher Education Outreach and Assistance 2017
  • Requires the State Department of Social Services and county welfare departments, in coordination with the California State University and the California Community Colleges, to coordinate with staff of several designated entities, as appropriate, to verify eligibility of foster youth for participation in programs and other benefits
  • Requires each California Community College campus, upon admission of a foster youth, to notify that student about appropriate campus support programs, eligibility for financial aid, and instructions for accessing benefits for which he/she is qualified
  • Requires each California State University campus, upon determination (through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or another means), that a student enrolled at, or applying to, that campus is a current or former foster youth and is eligible for financial aid, to notify that student about appropriate campus support programs, eligibility for financial aid, and instructions for accessing benefits for which he/she is qualified
SB 967 EC § 66025.3 Postsecondary Education- Waiver of Mandatory System-wide Tuition and Fees 2018
  • AcampusoftheUniversityofCaliforniaortheCaliforniaStateUniversityshallnotcharge any mandatory system-wide tuition or fees, including enrollment fees, registration fees, differential fees, or incidental fees, to a current or former foster youth, if he or she meets all of the following conditions:
    • Is 25 years of age or younger.
    • Has been in foster care for at least 12 consecutive months after reaching 10 years of age
    • Meets any of the following:
      1. Is under a current foster care placement order by the juvenile court
      2. Was under a foster care placement order by the juvenile court upon reaching 18 years of age
      3. Was adopted, or entered guardianship, from foster care
    • Completes and submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA)
    • Maintains a minimum grade point average and meets other conditions necessary for the student to be in good standing at the public postsecondary educational institution in which he or she attends
    • Meets the financial need requirements established for CalGrant Aawards
  • A student shall not have his or her mandatory system-wide tuition or fees waived in excess of the equivalent of attendance in a four-year undergraduate program.
  • The amount of a student’s tuition or fee waiver shall be reduced by any state or federal financial aid
  • An eligible person may receive a waiver for each academic year during which he or she applies for that waiver, but an eligible person may not receive a waiver of tuition or fees for a prior academic year.
  • The waiver of tuition or fees is only available to a person who is determined to be a resident of California
AB 1809 Higher Education-Cal Grants 2018
  • Provides alternative deadlines for submitting a complete financial aid application for a student who is a current or former foster youth, who is attending a qualifying institution that offers baccalaureate degrees or is attending a California community college, and has not yet reached 26 years of age as of July 1 of the initial award year
  • Authorizes the renewal of CalGrant B awards,for a current or former foster youth,for a total of the equivalent of 8 years of full-time attendance in an undergraduate program, provided that minimum financial need continues to exist
Bill Number & Education Code Category Effective Purpose
AB 1962 EC § 42238.01 & 49085 Local Control Funding Formula: Unduplicated Pupils: Foster Youth: dependent child of a tribal court 2018
  • Changes the definition of foster youth used for state funding and accountability purposes
  • Includes in that definition of “foster youth” a dependent child of a court of an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization who is the subject of a petition filed in the tribal court in accordance with the tribe’s law, provided the child would also meet one of the descriptions of specified existing law describing when a child may be adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court
SB 860 EC § 42921 & 42923 Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program: postsecondary education financial aid applications 2020
  • Requires the FYSCP to coordinate efforts to ensure, to the extent possible,the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act Application for foster youth pupils who are in grade 12
  • Requires the report to also include the number and percentage of pupils in foster care who successfully complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or California Dream Act Application while in grade 12
AB 1055 EC § 42238.01, 48850, 48853.5, 49069.5, 49085, & 51225.2 Tribal Pupils and Voluntarily Placed Children 2021
  • Deletes the requirement that a dependent tribal child also meet specified state law standards for purposes of the definition of foster youth for purposes of the local control funding formula. The bill would add children who are subjects of voluntary placement agreements to the definition of foster youth for purposes of the local control funding formula
  • Extends those educational rights and supports to dependent children in accordance with tribal law, as specified, and children who are the subject of voluntary placement agreements

Disclaimer: Recommendation to consult with legal counsel to determine how this document may apply to your specific facts and circumstances.