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Child Welfare & Attendance » Foster Youth Education

Foster Youth Education

On January 1, 2004, Assembly Bill (AB) 490, Chapter 862, Education: Foster Children, authored by Darrell Steinberg became effective. AB 490 amended Education Code (EC) Section 48850 to read:

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all pupils in foster care and those who are homeless as defined by the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.) have a meaningful opportunity to meet the challenging state pupil academic achievement standards to which all pupils are held.

In fulfilling our responsibilities to these pupils, the Garvey School District has adopted the following guiding principles:

Guiding principles of AB 490
  • Everyone shares the duty to promote the educational progress of children in out of home placements.
  • Mandates that educators, school personnel, social workers, probation officers, caregivers, advocates, and juvenile court officers all work together to serve the educational needs of children in foster care. EC 48850(a)
  • Placement of youth in least restrictive educational programs; and
  • Access to the academic resources, services and extracurricular and enrichment activities available to all students. EC 48850(a); WIC 16000(b)

Who is covered?
AB 490 covers youth who are:
  • Supervised by either the county probation or child welfare agency, and
  • In, or have been in, relative, kin, foster family or group home placements.

Key Provisions of AB 490
  • Foster youth access to same academic resources, services, and extracurricular activities
  • Education and placement decisions dictated by best interests of the child
  • “Foster care liaison” on school staff
  • School stability in school of origin
  • Preference for mainstream school placement
  • Immediate enrollment
  • Timely transfer of educational information
  • Protection of credits, grades, graduation
  • Case worker/probation officer access to school records
  • School Stability – School’s Role

Educational placements must be made to ensure:
  • Access to same resources available to all pupils
  • Least restrictive environment
  • Child’s best interest WIC 361, 726; EC 48853

Working together, we can turn the corner and improve the educational outcomes for all youth.

For any additional information or questions, please call Garvey School District, Student Support Services Department