EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND STABILITY FOR FOSTER YOUTH
An AB 490 SUMMARY
Effective January 1, 2004, AB 490 took effect. This law is related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care. Key provisions are as follows:
Establishes legislative intent that foster youth are ensured access to the same opportunities to meet academic achievement standards that all students are held to, maintain stable school placements, be placed in the least restrictive settings, 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.
Creates school stability for foster children by allowing them to remain in their school of origin for the duration of the school year when their placement changes, and remaining in the same school if it is in the child's best interests.
Requires county placing agencies to promote educational stability by considering in placement decisions the child's school attendance area.
Requires Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to designate a staff person as a foster care education liaison to ensure proper placement, transfer and enrollment in school for foster youth.
Makes LEAs and county social workers or probation officers jointly responsible for the timely transfer of students and their records when a change of schools occurs.
Requires that a comprehensive public school be considered as the first school placement option for foster youth.
Provides that a foster child has the right to remain enrolled in and attend his/her school of origin pending resolution of school placement disputes.
Allows a foster child to be immediately enrolled in school even if all typically required school records, immunizations, or school uniforms are not available.
Requires an LEA to deliver the pupil's education information and records to the next educational placement within 2 days of receiving a transfer request from a county placing agency.
Requires school districts to calculate and accept partial credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed by the student and earned while attending a public school, juvenile court school or nonpublic, nonsectarian school.
Authorizes the release of educational records of foster youth to the county placing agency, for case management or to assist with transfer or enrollment .
Ensures that foster youth will not be penalized for absences due to placement changes, court appearances, or related court ordered activities.