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Education Rights

Report of the First National Convening of Postsecondary Education Support Programs for Former Foster Youths: This report reviews the results of an unprecedented convening on postsecondary programs that support former foster youth (FFY). The convening was held in Fullerton, California, November 7-8, 2005.

Foster Care Education Fact Sheets is presented by the California Foster Youth Education Task Force, a coalition of 21 organizations dedicated to improving educational outcomes for foster youth.

You have these rights:

  • If you are moved, you have the right to stay in your old school for the rest of the school year if that is best for you. If there’s any disagreement, you have the right to stay in your old school until it is worked out.
  • If you are moved, the school must allow you to start school right away, even if you don’t have your grades, your shot records or needed supplies like a uniform.
  • You should not lose credits when you move. Your new school must take whole or part credits from your old schools, even if you earned those credits in a group home school, a court school or an alternative school.
  • Your grade can not be marked down when you are absent to go to court, court ordered visits (like with your family, social worker or therapist) or to move to a new home.

If you are placed in a non-public school (like a group home school), here are some other rights you have:

  • Your group home can NOT label you as needing special education or make you go to their school just so you can live there. If you go to the group home’s school, it must be because it is best for you.
  • You have the right to go to your IEP meetings and to talk privately with anyone who goes to them if you have questions or problems with your school.
  • Your non-public school must provide qualified teachers and enough school materials (like books, pens and papers). If you want to take college prep classes, a foreign language, get job training or college counseling, your non-public school must make sure you can.
  • You can go to extracurricular activities like sports, music or clubs, and your non-public school must make sure you can. If you have questions or complaints, you can call the Department of Education at 1-916-445-5737 or the Foster Care Ombudsman’s Office (for free) at 1-877-846-1602.
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