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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 23, 2015 05:32 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Educational Stability for Students
I plan to re-introduce legislation that will amend the Public School Code to provide for educational stability for students who are homeless or in foster care.

One of the key causes of educational failure is frequent school moves. In Pennsylvania, 35% of children who have been in foster care for 12-23 months have experienced three or more living placements – often changing schools with each new placement. Frequent school changes hinder educational progress of children. It is estimated that students lose four to six months of educational progress each time they change schools. When students in foster care change schools they may miss days of school or are placed in the wrong classes waiting for school records to be sent to the new school. Many times their credits do not transfer, they have to repeat courses or entire grades and many will become frustrated and drop out of school completely.

My legislation will ensure that students who are experiencing an education disruption - those in foster care, homeless, adjudicated delinquent, a migratory child, hospitalized, or placed in a children’s institution, can continue enrollment in their same school when feasible if it is in their best interest. It the student changes schools, it permits immediate enrollment in the new school and the former district must provide their records within 10 days of enrollment. Transportation required for school stability shall be provided by school district in which the student is enrolled. The legislation guarantees that credits earned in the former school are accepted by the new school. Finally, it provides for development of a graduation plan and for those students who meet state standards but are unable to satisfy school district graduation requirements they will be eligible to receive a state-issued diploma.

Please contact Vicki Wilken, Esq. in my office at 787-1349, if you have any questions related to the proposed legislation.

Introduced as SB966