ESEA Foster Care Student Obligations
Update: On Jan. 5, 2017, ISBE notified districts by email of the following additional supports the agency has created or is the process of developing to assist school districts' compliance relating to foster care students' educational stability.
ISBE also advised that it is extending the deadline for designating a point of contact and developing foster care transportation procedures to June 30, 2017.
Questions about transportation procedures for foster care students should be directed to Maryam Brotine, at 630/629-3776, ext. 1219 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On December 12, 2016, ISBE issued Bulletin 01-16, Guidelines for Determination of Best Interests and Transportation and Procedures for Dispute Resolution (Bulletin). The Bulletin aims to assist school districts’ compliance with requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), relating to foster care students’ educational stability. We have noted concerns with the Bulletin, are in communication and collaboration with ISBE regarding our concerns, and hope to have clarification soon. We are also considering how best to assist members in developing ESEA-compliant foster care transportation procedures, and if further PRESS material on this topic is necessary.
In PRESS Issue 93 we updated policy 4:110, Transportation, to address district compliance with ESEA’s foster care student transportation obligations by adding a sentence and corresponding footnote. We will issue news alerts on this topic as soon as more information is available. In the meantime, boards should review the Issue 93 updates to policy 4:110 and consult with the board attorney to determine if the district needs to do anything in response to the Bulletin.
Please note that Section 10-20.58 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/10-20.58), added by P.A. 99-781, is distinct from ESEA foster care student obligations. Section 10-20.58 gives school boards the option of appointing an employee licensed under Article 21B of the School Code to act as a liaison to facilitate the enrollment and transfer of records of students in the legal custody of DCFS when enrolling in or changing schools. P.A. 99-781 became effective on August 12, 2016 and encourages school districts to designate a liaison by the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
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