HB 2684 requires school districts to collaborate with DCYF to develop protocols specifying strategies for communication, coordination, and collaboration regarding the status and progress of children in out-of-home care to maximize their educational continuity and achievement.
Best interest determinations will be made as quickly as possible in order to prevent educational discontinuity. Effort must be made to consider all relevant and appropriate perspectives.
The school district must designate a foster care liaison to facilitate district compliance and collaborate with DCYF to address educational barriers for these students. Administrative regions of the department and the supervising agencies shall develop protocols with the respective school districts in their regions.
The department shall provide youth in out-of-home care the opportunity to remain enrolled in the school they were attending prior to out-of-home placement.
This act would be effective September 1, 2018.
As amended by the Education committee:
1. Removes a provision specifying that transportation costs should not be considered when making a best interest determination for a student in out-of-home care regarding which school the student should attend
2. Specifies that best interest determinations may consider transportation costs, but that transportation cost considerations may not be prioritized over the needs of the student
3. Requires the protocols for making best interest determinations for students in out-of-home care to be implemented before changing the school placement of a student
4. Specifies that protocols required by the DCYF that are intended to maximize the educational continuity and achievement of children in out-of-home care must also include protocols for making best interest determinations for students that comply with specified provisions
5. Makes numerous technical changes, including adding an additional definition for "out-of-home care" in a section where the term is not defined, and removing duplicative language related to requiring school districts to collaborate with the DCYF to develop specific protocols related to the educational continuity and achievement of children in out-of-home care