The vast majority of California foster youth plan to graduate from college, but a much smaller percentage have the academic background they need to succeed, according to a survey of 17-year-old foster youth. The survey is part of a five-year study that is evaluating the impact of extending foster care benefits beyond age 18.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills to mandate kindergarten and tinker with aspects of the state’s new school funding formula, and he signed bills providing more protections for student privacy as he rushed to review a sea of bills this week to meet the Sept. 30 deadline for acting on legislation.
California’s bold initiative to provide extra support to foster youth in school is proving difficult for most districts to implement, advocates say. Initial reviews of district accountability plans show that many are either ignoring this new subgroup or treating foster students the same as other low-income students.
Foster students are significantly less likely to enter community college than other students, and about half of those who do don’t return after their first year. Senate Bill 1023 would develop a pilot program to offer these students more support.
Instability -- multiple homes and multiple schools -- is one of the biggest obstacles to academic success for foster children. But about two dozen high school students in foster care in Southern California are benefiting from one constant in their lives: a program each summer at UCLA aimed at keeping them on track academically and preparing them for college.