H.R. 5876 (112th): Increasing Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of May 31, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5876

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 31, 2012

(for himself and Ms. Bass of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committees on Financial Services and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide educational stability for children in foster care, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Increasing Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care Act.

2.

State and local educational agency plan and report requirements

(a)

State plan

Section 1111(b)(8) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(8)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (D);

(2)

by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (F); and

(3)

by inserting after subparagraph (D), the following:

(E)

how the State educational agency will comply with the requirements of part J and the State’s plan to ensure such compliance; and

.

(b)

State report card

Section 1111(h)(1)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(h)(1)(C)) is amended—

(1)

in clause (i), by striking and status as economically disadvantaged, and inserting status as economically disadvantaged, and status as a child in foster care (defined in section 1602(1)),; and

(2)

in clause (vi), by inserting before the semicolon the following: (disaggregated by status as a child in foster care (defined in section 1602(1)), except that such disaggregation shall not be required in a case in which the number of students in such category is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student).

(c)

State report to Secretary

Section 1111(h)(4) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(h)(4)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (F);

(2)

in subparagraph (G), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(H)

beginning not later than school year 2012–2013, information on the achievement of students and the graduation rates described in clauses (i) and (vi) of paragraph (1)(C), respectively, including the disaggregated results for the category of students with status as a child in foster care (defined in section 1602(1)).

.

(d)

Local educational agency plan

Section 1112(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (P);

(2)

in subparagraph (Q), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(R)

how the local educational agency will comply with the requirements of part J that relate to the local educational agency and describe the local educational agency’s plan to ensure such compliance.

.

(e)

Reservation for Homeless Children and Youth and Other At-Risk Children

Section 1113(c)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (B);

(2)

in subparagraph (C), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

children in foster care (defined in section 1602(1)), including by designating an individual employed by the agency to serve as a point of contact, as described in 1601(d)(1), for the child welfare agencies responsible for such children enrolled in the local educational agency.

.

3.

Educational stability of children in foster care

(a)

In general

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), as amended by this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

J

Educational stability of children in foster care

1601.

Educational stability of children in foster care

(a)

Obligations To collaborate with child welfare agencies

(1)

In general

Each State educational agency receiving assistance under part A shall collaborate with the State child welfare agency to develop and implement a plan to ensure that the following occurs, for each child in the State, when the child moves to a new school attendance area as a result of being placed in foster care (as described in section 1602(1)), changing foster care placements, or leaving foster care:

(A)

Attendance at a school of origin

(i)

In general

The child enrolls or remains in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is in the child’s best interest to attend a different school.

(ii)

Limitation

A child who leaves foster care shall only be entitled to remain in the child’s school of origin for the remainder of the school year.

(B)

Immediate enrollment

When a determination is made regarding the school that it is in the best interest of a child in foster care to attend, the child shall be immediately enrolled in such school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, immunization and medical records, a birth certificate, guardianship records, proof of residency, or other documentation.

(C)

Records transfer

Any records ordinarily kept by a school, including records of immunizations, health screenings, and other required health records, academic records, birth certificates, evaluations for special services or programs, and any individualized education programs (as defined in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401)), regarding a child in foster care shall be—

(i)

maintained so that the records involved are available, in a timely fashion, when a child in foster care enters a new school; and

(ii)

immediately transferred to the enrolling school, even if the child owes fees or fines or was not withdrawn from previous schools in conformance with local withdrawal procedures.

(2)

Implementation

Each State educational agency receiving assistance under part A shall ensure that the plan described in paragraph (1) is implemented by the local educational agencies in the State.

(b)

Credit transfer and diplomas

Each State that receives assistance under part A shall have policies for ensuring that—

(1)

a child in foster care who is changing schools can transfer school credits and receive partial credits for coursework satisfactorily completed while attending a prior school or educational program;

(2)

a child in foster care is afforded opportunities to recover school credits lost due to placement instability while in foster care; and

(3)

a child in foster care who has changed secondary schools can receive a secondary school diploma either from one of the schools in which the child was enrolled or through a State-issued secondary school diploma system, consistent with State graduation requirements.

(c)

Transportation

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Increasing Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care Act, the State educational agency shall enter into an agreement with the State agency responsible for administering the State plans under parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure that children in foster care, and children leaving foster care, who are attending their schools of origin receive transportation to and from those schools, in accordance with subsection (a)(1) and with section 475(1)(G) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 675(1)(G)). The agreement shall include a description of the following:

(1)

How foster care maintenance payments will be used to help fund the transportation of children in foster care to their schools of origin.

(2)

How children who leave foster care will receive transportation to maintain their enrollment in their schools of origin for the remainder of the academic year, if remaining in their schools of origin is in their best interests.

(d)

Points of contact

(1)

Local educational agencies

A State that receives assistance under part A shall ensure that each local educational agency in the State designates an individual employed by the agency to serve as a point of contact for the child welfare agencies responsible for children in foster care enrolled in the local educational agency and to oversee the implementation of the local educational agency requirements under this section. A local educational agency's point of contact shall not be the individual designated as its local educational agency liaison under section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, unless such individual has the capacity, resources, and time to perform both roles.

(2)

State educational agencies

Each State educational agency receiving assistance under part A shall designate an individual to serve as a point of contact for child welfare agencies and to oversee the implementation of the State educational agency requirements under this section. A State educational agency's point of contact shall not be the individual designated as the State's Coordinator for Education of Homeless Children and Youths under section 722(d)(3) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, unless such individual has the capacity, resources, and time to perform both roles.

1602.

Definitions

In this part:

(1)

Child in foster care

The term child in foster care means a child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the agency that administers a State plan under part B or E of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 621 et seq., 670 et seq.), without regard to whether foster care maintenance payments are made under section 472 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 672) on behalf of the child.

(2)

School attendance area

The term school attendance area has the meaning given the term in section 1113(a)(2).

(3)

School of origin

The term school of origin means, with respect to a child in foster care, any of the following:

(A)

The public school in which the child was enrolled prior to entry into foster care.

(B)

The public school in which the child is enrolled when a change in foster care placement occurs.

(C)

The public school the child attended when last permanently housed, as such term is used in section 722(g)(3)(G) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(3)(G)), if such child was eligible for assistance under such Act before the child became a child in foster care.

.

(b)

Guidance

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is directed to issue guidance on the implementation of part J of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, including how State and local agencies will work together to ensure that transportation for children in foster care is provided to the school of origin.

4.

Amendment to McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Section 725(2)(B)(i) of the of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)(B)(i)) is amended by striking are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement and inserting or are abandoned in hospitals;.