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Educational Stability for Kids in Foster Care
RESEARCH SUPPORTS school stability:
- Research shows that children who change schools frequently:
- Make less academic progress than their peers, losing about 4 - 6 months of educational progress every time they change schools
- Fall farther behind with each school change, leading to low test scores, negative academic outcomes, and high drop-out rates
- May have a tougher time developing supportive relationships with teachers and peers
- Children in foster care may change schools frequently — when they first enter foster care , when they move from one foster care living arrangement to another, or when they return home.
- The educational outcomes of foster youth trail behind national averages in standardized test scores, a disparity researchers attribute to frequent school changes.
PROMISING NEWS to encourage stability efforts:
- When youth in foster care stay in the same middle and high school setting, their likelihood of graduating high school doubles when compared to youth whose educational placements change.
- On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law is effective on December 10, 2016.
- ESSA is the first major overhaul of federal education law in over a decade.
- It contains (for the first time) key protections for students in foster care to promote school stability and success and required collaboration with child welfare partners.
- Click here to view the new education law in its entirety
- Click here to view a fact sheet about the new education law, published by the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center
- Click here to go to the VT-FUTRES website where you can get resources aimed at improving educational success for youth in foster care