ESSA Foster Care


ESSA Foster Care

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) school districts are required to work with child welfare agencies to ensure the educational stability of children and youth in foster care. 

On October 25, 2016, the department issued a memo outlining the requirements.

Sections 1111(g)(1)(E) and 1112(c)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by ESSA require LEAs to:

a. Designate a point of contact.

b. Develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their school of origin when in their best interest will be provided, arranged and funded for the duration of the time in foster care.

c. Ensure that children in foster care needing transportation to the school of origin will promptly receive transportation in a cost-effective manner and in accordance with the federal Social Security Act.

d. Ensure that, if there are additional costs incurred in providing transportation to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin, the LEA will provide transportation to the school of origin if (a) the local CWA agrees to reimburse the LEA for the cost of such transportation; (b) the LEA agrees to pay for the cost of such transportation; or (c) the LEA and the local CWA agree to share the cost of such transportation.

e. Ensure that any such child enrolls or remains in such child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in such child’s best interest to attend the school of origin, which decision shall be based on all factors relating to the child’s best interest, including consideration of the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.

f. Ensure that when a determination is made that it is not in such child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child is immediately enrolled in a new school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment.

g. Ensure that the enrolling school immediately contacts the school last attended by any child to obtain relevant academic or other records.

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