|Posted:||January 14, 2015 02:22 PM|
|From:||Representative David S. Hickernell|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Fostering Independence Through Education Act (Former HB 656 - 2013-2014 Legislative Session)|
I am writing to invite you to join with me in cosponsoring a bill that I will be reintroducing in the near future that enacts the Fostering Independence Through Education Act. This important bill will help assist children in foster care with the challenges of accessing higher educational opportunities.
In brief, my legislation:
I am introducing this legislation because in our Commonwealth, more than 22,000 youth are in foster care and each year more than 1,000 of these children “age out” of the system. Sadly, only 50% of foster youth graduate from high school and only 13% go on to college.
Without additional supports, it is clear that these children face significant challenges to ensure their future independence from government assistance.
Emancipated foster youth, who do not have parents to rely on for support and guidance, already suffer unique disadvantages compared with other students. One of the other critical hurdles for this student population is finding the financial resources to fund their education. While the General Assembly cannot replace parents, it can certainly help eliminate or greatly reduce the financial barriers to higher education for these students.
Please join me in my efforts to assist foster and substitute care children in promoting their independence through educational opportunities by cosponsoring this bill.
Previous Cosponsors: HICKERNELL , CALTAGIRONE , COHEN , CUTLER , GINGRICH , HENNESSEY , MENTZER, MILNE , MOUL , O'NEILL , EVERETT and MURT
Introduced as HB453