1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," in pupils and attendance, further
6providing for definitions and providing for children who are
7homeless or in dependent care, for free transportation for
8certain children and for timely graduation after experiencing
9an educational disruption.

10The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
11hereby enacts as follows:

12Section 1. Section 1326 of the act of March 10, 1949
13(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is
14amended to read:

15Section 1326. Definitions.--The term "child in foster care" 
16shall mean any of the following:

17(1) An individual who meets the definition of "dependent
18child" under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions) and is
19in placement consistent with 42 Pa.C.S. § 6351 (relating to
20disposition of dependent child).

21(2) A child voluntarily placed pursuant to an entrustment

1The term "compulsory school age," as hereinafter used, shall
2mean the period of a child's life from the time the child's
3parents elect to have the child enter school, which shall be not
4later than at the age of eight (8) years, until the age of
5seventeen (17) years. The term shall not include any child who
6holds a certificate of graduation from a regularly accredited
7senior high school.

8The term "homeless" shall mean an individual who meets the
9definition of "homeless" in section 103 of the McKinney-Vento
10Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77, 101 Stat. 482).

11The term "migratory child," wherever used in this subdivision
12of this article, shall include any child domiciled temporarily
13in any school district for the purpose of seasonal employment,
14but not acquiring residence therein, and any child accompanying
15his parent or guardian who is so domiciled.

16The term "school stability" shall mean that a child in foster
17care is entitled to attend any of the following:

18(1) The school the child attended in foster care currently

20(2) The school the child attended when initially placed by
21the county children and youth agency.

22(3) If determined by a court to be in the child's best
23interest, another school that the child attended prior to or
24while in foster care within the immediately preceding fifteen
25(15) months and with which the child has a substantial

27The term "student experiencing an education disruption" shall
28mean an individual attending grades six (6) through twelve (12)
29who during these school years does any of the following:

30(1) Experiences one or more school changes as a result of


2(i) Homeless as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless
3Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77, 101 Stat. 482).

4(ii) Adjudicated dependent or delinquent.

5(iii) A migratory child.

6(iv) Hospitalized.

7(v) Placed in a children's institution as referred to in
8section 1306.

9(2) Misses thirty (30) consecutive days of school during a
10school year.

11Section 2. The act is amended by adding sections to read:

12Section 1327.2. Children Who are Experiencing Homelessness
13or in Dependent Care.--(a) A child who is homeless shall be
14entitled to continued enrollment in the child's school of origin
15in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
16(Public Law 100-77, 101 Stat. 482) unless continued enrollment
17is not in the child's best interest. If continued enrollment is
18not in the child's best interest, the child shall be immediately
19enrolled in the child's new school whether or not the required
20documents for enrollment can be provided.

21(b) A child in foster care who is placed in a new school
22district or school attendance area shall be entitled to school
23stability unless it is not in the child's best interest. If
24continued enrollment is not in the child's best interest as
25determined by the child welfare agency or the court, the new
26school shall immediately enroll the child in the child's new
27school even if the child cannot provide the documentation
28normally required for school enrollment, and the child's former
29school shall provide the child's school record to the child's
30new school within ten (10) days of the child's enrollment in a

1new school.

2Section 1331.1. Free Transportation for Certain Children.--
3(a) A child experiencing homelessness or awaiting foster care
4shall be entitled to free transportation to the child's school
5of origin in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless
6Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77, 101 Stat. 482). The
7transportation service shall be arranged and provided either by
8the school district in which the child is living or the district
9where the child is attending school. If there is a disagreement
10between the two school districts regarding which district pays
11for or arranges the transportation, the cost of transportation
12shall be evenly divided and the school district in which the
13child is enrolling shall be responsible for arranging the
14transportation. A child alleging to be homeless shall be
15entitled to remain in the same school pending full resolution of
16a dispute in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless
17Assistance Act.

18(b) A child in foster care who does not qualify as homeless
19under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act shall be
20entitled to receive transportation to obtain school stability if
21attending the stable school is in the child's best interest.
22Transportation required for school stability shall be provided
23in a manner consistent with an agreement between the applicable
24county children and youth agency and the school district in
25which the school the child will be attending or will be enrolled
26is located. If the school district and county children and youth
27agency do not have an agreement, or if there is a dispute
28between the parties, the following shall apply:

29(1) Except as set forth in clause (2), transportation shall
30generally be provided by the county children and youth agency.

1(2) If transportation can be provided at no or minimal cost
2by the school district where the child attends school or where
3the child resides, then the school district shall provide

5(3) Transportation shall be provided immediately.

6Section 1331.2. Timely Graduation After Experiencing
7Educational Disruption.--(a) Each student experiencing an
8educational disruption shall be assigned a person who shall
9serve as a point of contact at the school for that child. A
10school counselor, home and school visitor, social worker,
11teacher or administrator or other appropriate school staff may
12serve as the point of contact under this section. The person
13shall be noted in the child's school record and notice shall be
14sent to the parent or guardian. The point of contact shall:

15(1) Assist the student in determining appropriate classroom

17(2) Evaluate credits needed to graduate.

18(3) Help obtain access to school services, including
19extracurricular activities.

20(4) Serve as coordinator in developing and implementing a
21graduation plan.

22(b) As soon as practicable, but no later than thirty (30)
23days from the date the student experiencing an educational
24disruption begins attending a new school, the point of contact
25shall coordinate the development of a graduation plan. The point
26of contact shall collaborate with the student and the student's
27parent, guardian or other legally authorized educational
28decision maker unless the student is emancipated. The student,
29school district and the parent, guardian or other legally
30authorized educational decision maker shall be permitted to

1invite additional participants, including a representative from
2the student's previous school, the child's attorney or a county
3children and youth agency. In developing the graduation plan,
4the school district shall make every effort to allow the student
5to graduate within four (4) years. The graduation plan shall
6include the following components:

7(1) A summary of all current full or partial credits earned
8by the student at a prior school or educational program. The
9summary shall also list each course the student will be required
10to complete to receive a high school diploma.

11(2) The graduation plan shall include a list of each course
12that the student's new school district acknowledges the student
13has already completed in whole or in part. A student may receive
14credit for a course for any of the following reasons:

15(i) The student has completed a course which is
16substantially similar at a prior school.

17(ii) The student has submitted written work in compliance
18with standards established by the school district.

19(iii) The student has satisfactorily completed one or more
20tests reflecting mastery of the subject matter.

21(iv) The student has completed relevant work or vocational

23(v) For another reason as determined by the school district.

24(3) When the student will not otherwise graduate from high
25school within four (4) years, a waiver may be granted in
26accordance with the following:

27(i) The chief school administrator shall review the
28student's records to determine whether a waiver from one or more
29mandatory courses should be requested from the Secretary of

1(ii) The school district shall identify one or more courses
2otherwise required by the district for graduation that the
3district is willing to waive for the student.

4(4) The school district shall outline the steps the student
5can take to complete courses by any of the following:

6(i) Participating in a credit recovery program, including a
7computer-based program.

8(ii) Submitting written work.

9(iii) Completing a test demonstrating mastery of the subject
10matter or skill taught in the course.

11(iv) Completing relevant work or vocational experience.

12(v) Through other means as determined by the school

14(c) Each school district shall make the following services
15available to a student:

16(1) A computer-based or after-school credit recovery program
17with teacher oversight provided by a school district or
18intermediate unit.

19(2) A checklist of remedial and the other support service
20needs of the student and a method for meeting the remedial
21needs, including access to services that will promote a
22successful transition to the new school and are required to meet
23State academic requirements.

24(3) The student shall have equal access to participate in a
25sport, extracurricular activity and vocational or other special

27(d) After exhausting all other options under this section, a
28student who meets the State graduation standards under section
291613, but who cannot obtain a school district-issued diploma
30from the school the student last attended, shall be entitled to

1a diploma issued by the Department of Education based on a
2review of the student's education record submitted by the school
3district to the Department of Education, and to participate in
4graduation ceremonies of the school district where the student
5most recently attended school. A school district must assist any
6student in applying to the department for a State-issued diploma
7by compiling requisite education records and facilitating the
8application process.

9Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.