BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1353|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 1353
          Author:   Wright (D)
          Amended:  4/22/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 3/24/10
          AYES:  Romero, Huff, Alquist, Liu, Maldonado, Price,  
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Hancock, Wyland

           SENATE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE  :  4-0, 4/13/10
          AYES:  Liu, Romero, Runner, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Maldonado

           SUBJECT  :    Foster youth:  education stability

           SOURCE  :     Compton Unified School District

           DIGEST  :    This bill provides that consideration of the  
          proximity to the school in which a child is enrolled at the  
          time of placement in foster care is one indicator of the  
          best interests of the child with respect to educational  

           ANALYSIS  :    

           Existing Law
          1.Requires that the case plan for each child to include a  
            summary of health and education information or records of  


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            the child.  This summary must include assurances that the  
            child's placement in foster care takes into account the  
            proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at  
            the time of placement.

          2.Requires that the decision regarding foster care  
            placement be based upon selection of a safe setting that  
            is the least restrictive or most family-like available,  
            and that it is the most appropriate setting that is  
            available and in close proximity to the parent's home,  
            proximity to the child's school, or both.

          3.Requires that all educational and school placement  
            decisions ensure that pupils are placed in the least  
            restrictive educational programs, and that the pupil has  
            access to all educational and extra-curricular and  
            enrichment activities that are available to all pupils.

          4.Requires that the considerations of a foster child's  
            educational stability, special needs, and best interests  
            be taken into account when deciding on placement in the  
            most appropriate foster home.

          5.Requires that local education agencies allow a foster  
            child to continue his or her education in the school of  
            origin for the duration of the academic school year.

          This bill:

          1.Makes findings and declarations about the importance of a  
            child's education; the negative effects on foster  
            children of their transfers from school to school; the  
            value of delaying a transfer until the end of a term,  
            semester, or academic year; and, the absence in  
            California law of provisions encouraging such a delay  
            when a foster child transfers from one school to another.

          2.Provides that the best interests of a foster child shall  
            include minimal disruptions to school attendance and  
            education stability by timing school transfers during the  
            summer or other breaks in the school year.

          3.Provides that the best interests of a foster child shall  
            include the opportunity to be educated in the least  


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            restrictive educational setting necessary to achieve  
            academic progress.

          4.Adds to a foster child's bill of rights the right to  
            attend school with minimal disruptions to attendance and  
            educational setting caused by transfers during a term of  

          5.Provides that the decision of which foster care setting  
            to choose for a child shall include selecting a setting  
            that is available in close proximity to the parent's  
            home, promotes educational stability by its location in  
            or near the child's school attendance area, and provides  
            an opportunity to delay any necessary school transfers to  
            the summer or normal matriculation schedule.

          6.Encourages the California Department of Education and the  
            Department of Social Services to develop other indicators  
            of educational stability to complement the current  
            indicators of proximity of the home to the school and  
            accommodation of the child's matriculation schedule.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  4/27/10)

          Compton Unified School District (source) 
          California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association
          California State PTA
          California Teachers Association
          Junior Leagues of California's State Public Affairs  
          New Visions Foundation
          Pomona Unified School District
          U-Turn Alcohol & Drug Education Program, Inc.

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office,  
          "Foster youth lose an average of four to six months of  
          educational progress each time they change schools.   
          One-third of foster children have changed schools at least  
          five times.  In Compton Unified School District, almost  
          half of its 1,265 students in foster care changed schools  


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          each year.  Of these transfers, 85 percent resulted in a  
          student entering a new school after the first day of class.  
           In a national study of youth who had been in foster care,  
          those who had one fewer placement change per year were  
          almost twice as likely to graduate from high school."

          CPM:cm  4/27/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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