Bill prioritizing academic needs of foster children moves to full Senate

The education needs of foster care students are prioritized under a bill that passed unanimously through the Senate Education on Thursday.

House Bill 312, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, seeks to empower teachers and schools with the information they need to help Kentucky’s foster kids be successful in the classroom.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Director of Political Affairs Travis Burton explained the bill would work to ensure children are in a safe environment by not placing children in foster homes that have been closed or is under corrective action. It would also take other key needs into consideration when a child is removed from a home including their education and personal needs while in school.

The legislation would strengthen the sharing of academic information between school districts about foster children when they must enter a new school and would require a child’s caseworker to communicate directly with the new school when critical placement and service decisions are made.

Confidential information pertaining to the student will also be protected and the bill will help make sure that children are being placed in quality foster homes that are able and willing to do what is necessary to support the child’s education.

Burton expressed the support of the business community, noting the desire to see schools and teachers given more tools to help improve academic outcomes for this significant student population.

House Bill 312 was placed on consent and goes on the calendar for the full Senate.

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