Since 2013, FosterEd has led the effort to transform California’s foster youth education landscape. We believe it critical that all our efforts put young people at the center of practice and policies that are designed to work on their behalf. To do this, we work across three spheres concurrently: directly with students to implement promising practices; at a local system level to forge and bolster partnerships to establish infrastructure for cross-sector engagement; and at a state and regional policy level to address large scale systemic barriers.
California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a groundbreaking law passed in 2013 that changed the way education is funded in the state. LCFF increases local flexibility in spending education dollars while increasing accountability, particularly for improving the educational outcomes of designated student sub-groups. As a result of the efforts of FosterEd California and other advocates, LCFF included the designation of foster youth as a student sub-group for the first time anywhere in the United States. Districts are responsible for developing Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) which identify goals for each sub-group and plans to achieve these goals.
In 2015, FosterEd California sponsored Assembly Bill 854, which expanded the state’s Foster Youth Services Program (FYS). FYS programs provide supplemental educational services and supports to foster children in California. Nearly two-thirds of the state’s foster children were ineligible for these services which were limited to foster students in institutional placements. AB 854 made all of the state’s foster children eligible for FYS and gave the program a greater role in ensuring foster children are well served through the LCFF.
In 2017, FosterEd California is sponsoring legislation to increase caregiver access to education records.