ESSA’s Provisions for Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care: Effective December 2016 (December 2016 School Leader Update)
The Every Student Succeeds Act contains important provisions requiring school districts and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to collaborate to ensure the educational stability of children who are placed in foster care. The ESSA requires that children in foster care remain in their school of origin (the school they were attending when entering foster care) unless their best interests require otherwise. The ESSA also requires children in foster care be transported to their school of origin unless a best-interest determination requires a school change. If a school change is necessary for a child in foster care, the ESSA requires immediate and appropriate enrollment. ESSA also requires districts and the DHS to collaborate to ensure school stability for children in care, and establish clear written procedures for providing transportation when necessary to ensure school stability. These and other provisions are effective, according to the U.S. Department of Education, on Dec. 10.
The department and the DHS are developing sample agreements to implement this provision and will be providing guidance and technical assistance on implementing these provisions. For initial guidance from the United States Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, consult Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care. The Department’s ESSA-required single point of contact regarding the education of children in foster care is Steve Crew with the Iowa Department of Education Bureau of School Improvement. For more information on these ESSA requirements, contact Steve at 515-326-1029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.