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Educational Issues of our Foster Children Presented by Alma Alfaro CPS Education Specialist
Education Outcomes - Foster Care in Texas • Fact: Students in foster care lag behind the general student population in high school completion. National studies show great disparity between graduation outcomes of students in foster care in comparison to the general student population. • High School Graduation Program: • Minimum 48.8% foster care vs. 17.3% general population • Recommended 49.3% foster care vs. 70.7% general population • Distinguished 1.9% foster care vs. 12.1% of general population • (PEIMS 2011)
Foster Children Compared to the State PopulationGraduates by Graduation Type2010-11
Texas Foster Youth More Likely to be in Special Education and Less Likely to be in Gifted &Talented Students in foster care are almost 3 timesmorelikely to receive special education services compared to students in the general population (10%). (PEIMS 2010-2011)
In 2010, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an Order Establishing “Children's Commission” http://education.texaschildrenscommission.gov/resources/tools-2/cps.aspx The Education Committee believed that school, court and Child Protective Services (CPS) stakeholders needed a website dedicated to the educational needs of students in foster care. This website is intended to be used by teachers, school administrators, CASAs, attorneys and guardians ad litem, school attorneys, courts, and any others who might support children and youth in foster care.
School Stability • Recordsmay be lost or misplaced, causing youth to lose credits and/or repeat classes. Records may not transfer in a complete and timely manner. • Youth may not be appropriately withdrawn from school, resulting in lowering of youth’s grades. • Youth may sit out of school for days/weeks at a time, or are placed in inappropriate classes upon transferring to a new school. • Casey Family Services, ‘Education Stability for Children & Youth in Foster Care’ • For every school move - students in foster care lose 4-6 months of emotional growth & academic preparation. • (Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. 2000)
Texas Education Code - Recognizes students in foster care: • Immediate school enrollment - TEC 25.002 • Timely Records transfer - TEC 25.002(a-1) • Students grades 9-12 are entitled to finish high school where they were enrolled at the time of placement - TEC 25.001 (g) • Free eligibility for PRE-K - TEC 29.153 • Accelerated Instruction (At-risk indicators and Compensatory Education) - TEC 29.081 (Code #11) • TEA to assist the transition from one school to another of students in foster care - TEC 25.007
Attendance Zones TEC 25.001(g) • Same district, different campus • Grades 9-12, right to remain at same campus • Grades 8 and lower, considered an intradistrict transfer by local policy • New district • Grades 9-12, right to remain at same campus • Grades 8 and lower, double check that child is not still eligible to attend previous district • If not, consider an interdistrict transfer
School District Foster Care Liaison: 81st Legislative Session – Texas Legislature passed H.B. 826 “Each School District shall appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison officer to facilitate the enrollment in or transfer to a public school of a child in the district who in the conservatorship of the state. (TEC section 33:904)” **The foster care liaisons were to be designated by school districts by December 1, 2011** http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769804968
Uninterrupted Scholars Act 2013 Amends FERPA by expanding the list of organizations to which an educational agency or institution may release education records without parental consent… Now includes an agency caseworkeror other representative of a state or local child welfare agency or tribal organization authorized to access a student’s case plan when such agencies or organizations are legally responsible for the care and protection of the student.
Tuition and Fee Waiver • Have been in the conservatorship of DFPS the day before the student's 18th birthday; • Have been in the conservatorship of DFPS on or after the day of the student's 14th birthday and the student was eligible for adoption on or after that day; • Have been in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day the student graduated from high-school or received an equivalent of a high-school diploma; • Have been in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day the student was adopted and the adoption occurred on or after September 1, 2009; • Have been in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day permanent managing conservatorship (PMC) was granted to a non-parent and the PMC occurred on or after September 1, 2009; OR • Is currently in the conservatorship of DFPS and is enrolling in a dual credit course or other course for which a high-school student may earn joint high-school and college credit.
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