Work Group to Address the Needs of Students in Foster Care or Experiencing Homelessness.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in collaboration with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families; the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs of the Department of Commerce; and the Student Achievement Council, must convene a work group to address the needs of students in foster care, students experiencing homelessness, or both (work group). This work group must include representatives of nongovernmental agencies and representation from the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee (EOGOAC). The work group must also include four legislative members who possess experience in issues of:
The work group must develop recommendations to promote the:
In developing these recommendations, the work group must:
The work group must submit a final report to the Governor, the appropriate committees of the Legislature, and the EOGOAC by July 1, 2024. The work group expires December 31, 2024.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) is a federal law that provides money for homeless shelter programs.
The term "homeless children and youths" is defined in the McKinney-Vento Act to mean individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes:
Education Data Center.
The Education Data Center (commonly known as the Education Research and Data Center or ERDC) in the Office of Financial Management, conducts collaborative analyses of early learning, kindergarten through grade 12, and higher education programs and education issues across the preschool through higher education system. Among other duties, the ERDC is required to prepare a regular report on the educational and workforce outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system.
The work group to address the needs of students in foster care or experiencing homelessness (work group) is expanded to address students in or exiting juvenile rehabilitation facilities. This expansion is reflected in changes to the work group's reporting requirements and the development of recommendations.
The work group must include representation from the Education Research and Data Center and meaningful consultation with youth and young adults who have lived experience in foster care, homelessness, and juvenile rehabilitation.
The work group is extended beyond its current expiration date of December 31, 2024, until December 31, 2028. The deadline for submitting the final report from the work group is delayed until July 1, 2028 (from July 1, 2024).
The term "students in foster care" is defined to mean students who are the subject of a dependency proceeding.
The term "students experiencing homelessness" is defined to mean students without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
The term "students in or exiting juvenile rehabilitation facilities" is defined to mean a person under age 21 who is a resident or a former resident of an institutional education facility, which means:
(In support) Children can move between placements and struggle in school. There are policies and procedures within the education system that do not work well with the child welfare system. This work group to address the needs of students in foster care or experiencing homelessness (work group) brings a wide group of voices to the table and provides recommendations to the Legislature.
For five years, this work group has been working diligently to identify recommendations to support students in foster care and experiencing homelessness. These two populations experience similar educational challenges, grounded in trauma and frequent transitions in homes and schools. These marginalized student populations are impacted by multiple systems, and those systems need to be talking to each other.
Since its inception, the work group has determined shared outcome measures, passed laws, and increased state investment and needed educational supports.
This bill would add students in or exiting juvenile rehabilitation facilities to the population for which the work group is responsible.
Students exiting juvenile justice institutions are some of the most vulnerable, only 14 percent of whom graduate. Washington is the only state attempting to identify recommendations for all of these populations. This bill will ensure we have the data and reporting necessary to support these students.
This work group prioritizes this important cross-system work.
The work group is aligned with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction graduation goals for all students. This includes the needs of a long overlooked student group—students exiting juvenile justice institutions.