With a Fresh Fiscal Year in Sight, Advocates Go to Work for CA Foster Youth

Advocates say that as the dust cloud caused by the first year of the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) settles, foster youth are one group that could benefit from specific attention in future spending plans.

60,000 children were part of California’s foster care system in 2013. One key issue highlighted by the Advancement Project, a national nonprofit, is that of stability.

Children in foster care transfer between schools at far greater rates than their peers, the Advancement Project advocates for more support staff within schools to try and close that gap.

More help can be had with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s AB 854.

Introduced back in February and already through the Assembly without a single dissenting vote, AB 854 broadens the pool of foster children eligible for supplemental educational services through the states Foster Youth Services (FYS) program. Moreover, the bill should help FYS coordinators across the state coordinate efforts between themselves and other state agencies. 

Despite the shaky start under the new funding model, groups like Californians Together have expressed confidence in improvements in future spending plans. The statewide coalition understands that large new projects like the LCFF bring a sort of shock with them, coupled with the short turn around schools had to put the first plans together. 

However, even with this vote of confidence, they are still quick to point out problem areas, such as the foster programs or English language learners, which have room for improvement either way.

The full text of AB 854 is here. 

Further reading on AB 854 can be found here. 

For more details on the issues facing Foster Youth, see here.  

Image Credit: Flickr User wired_gr, https://flic.kr/p/7WBUja via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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