More than 33,500 foster youth are enrolled in California’s public K-12 schools. The state became the first in the country nearly a half-dozen years ago to include foster students in its funding formula and provide districts with additional funding for those students. But challenges have remained as foster students face high chronic absenteeism rates, homelessness, and low graduation rates. EdSource highlights the successful strategies to improve foster students’ academic successes and the challenges they face.
Current formula hurts children from low-income families in high-cost regions.
Public Advocates argues the district doesn’t show how $1.2 billion in extra funding will benefit English learners and low-income students.
One recent study found that among foster youth who enrolled in post-secondary education just 49.6 percent completed their first two semesters.
Some school districts emerge as models for serving foster youth, but others are doing little to target them with specific programs.
Learning Policy Institute says schools need more funding, teachers need more support and the public needs more help understanding where the money goes.
Convinced that stigmatizing “bad schools” and dictating improvements didn't work, state officials are counting on district-led solutions to low achievement.
Despite steady overall progress, gaps among student ethnic and racial groups persist. The new data will indicate which low-performing school districts will receive assistance when the California School Dashboard is released next month.