• Provisions for Providing Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care Take Effect in December
  • September 7, 2016 | Authors: Robert D. Haws; Shelby M. Lile; Jennifer N. MacLennan; Susan Plimpton Segal
  • Law Firm: Gust Rosenfeld P.L.C. - Phoenix Office
  • On December 10, 2016, provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) related to children in foster care will take effect. The Arizona Department of Education, child welfare agencies and local educational agencies are tasked with working together to ensure the educational stability of these students.

    The provisions address creating greater educational stability for children in foster care. The ESSA describes transportation as "a central component of educational stability" as it may be needed to allow a child in foster care to remain in his school of origin (the school in which he was enrolled when he was placed in foster care). If remaining in the school of origin is not in the child's best interest, the child must be immediately enrolled in a new school even if the records normally required for enrollment are not available.

    State and local educational agencies should begin collaborating with child welfare agencies now to develop and implement local transportation procedures to ensure plans to meet the needs of these students are in place by December.