See other bills
under the
same topic
PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 1484
PRINTER'S NO. 2057
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1276
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY HICKERNELL, TOOHIL, ROEBUCK, SAYLOR, FEE, STURLA,
MILLARD, GAYDOS, FIEDLER, MENTZER, ZIMMERMAN, MADDEN, SIMS,
B. MILLER, GLEIM, HILL-EVANS, HOHENSTEIN, McCLINTON,
DONATUCCI, ISAACSON, CRUZ, NELSON, THOMAS, SCHLOSSBERG AND
D. MILLER, APRIL 17, 2019
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, JUNE 10, 2019
AN ACT
Providing for a fostering independence waiver program for youth
who are or have been in substitute care.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Fostering
Independence Through Education Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Adoption." Adoption of an individual who has been in the
care and custody of a county agency and in substitute care.
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency.
"County agency." The term as defined under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
(relating to definitions).
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Dependent child." The term as defined under 42 Pa.C.S. §
6302 (relating to definitions).
"Fostering independence waiver." A waiver of tuition and
mandatory fees at an institution of higher education.
"Institution of higher education." The term includes any of
the following:
(1) A community college operating under Article XIX-A of
the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the
Public School Code of 1949.
(2) A university within the State System of Higher
Education.
(3) The Pennsylvania State University, the University of
Pittsburgh, Temple University, Lincoln University or any
other institution designated as State-related by the
Commonwealth.
(4) The Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
(5) A college established under Article XIX-G of the
Public School Code of 1949.
(6) An institution of higher education located in and
incorporated or chartered by the Commonwealth and entitled to
confer degrees as provided under 24 Pa.C.S. § 6505 (relating
to power to confer degrees) and as provided for by the
standards and qualifications prescribed by the State Board of
Education under 24 Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to private
colleges, universities and seminaries).
(7) A private school licensed under the act of December
15, 1986 (P.L.1585, No.174), known as the Private Licensed
20190HB1276PN2057 - 2 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Schools Act.
(8) A foreign corporation approved to operate an
educational enterprise under 22 Pa. Code Ch. 36 (relating to
foreign corporation standards).
"Permanent legal custodian." A person to whom legal custody
of a child has been given by order of a court pursuant to 42
Pa.C.S. § 6351(a)(2.1) (relating to disposition of dependent
child).
"POC." The point of contact designated in section 5.
"Program." The fostering independence waiver program
established in section 3.
"Substitute care." Out-of-home placement in a setting that
provides 24-hour care for a dependent child as defined in 42
Pa.C.S. § 6302 made pursuant to an order of the court.
Section 3. Fostering independence waiver program.
(a) Establishment.--There is established a fostering
independence waiver program for individuals who satisfy the
eligibility requirements under subsection (c).
(b) Award.--Beginning with the semester starting in the fall
of 2020, each institution of higher education shall award a
fostering independence waiver for undergraduate courses at the
institution for each individual who is eligible under subsection
(c). The fostering independence waiver shall have subtracted
from it the amount of any Federal grants, State grants or other
scholarships or grants the individual receives. An individual
shall receive a fostering independence waiver under this act for
five years, whether or not consecutive, or until the individual
reaches 26 years of age, whichever occurs first, as long as the
individual remains eligible under subsection (c).
(c) Eligibility.--In order to receive a fostering
20190HB1276PN2057 - 3 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
independence waiver under this section, an individual must meet
all of the following requirements:
(1) Be at least 14 years of age but under 26 years of
age and be in or have been in substitute care in this
Commonwealth for at least six months before, on or after the
effective date of this section, including any of the
following:
(i) Placement in substitute care as a dependent
child at any time while 14 years of age or older.
(ii) Adoption at any time after reaching 14 years of
age from substitute care as a dependent child.
(iii) Placement with a permanent legal custodian at
any time after reaching 14 years of age from substitute
care as a dependent child.
(2) Have graduated from high school or received a
Commonwealth secondary school diploma or another equivalent
approved by the Department of Education.
(3) Have been accepted for admission to, or be currently
attending, an institution of higher education.
(4) Have maintained satisfactory progress after
admission as defined by the institution of higher education
attended.
(5) Have applied for all available Federal and State
grants.
(6) Currently resides in this Commonwealth.
(d) Accessibility.--The department shall work with the
agency as well as the Department of Labor and Industry and the
Department of Human Services to ensure that individuals eligible
for the program under subsection (c) apply for all available
Federal and State grants.
20190HB1276PN2057 - 4 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Section 4. Outreach.
(a) Duties of department.--The department, in conjunction
with the Department of Human Services, shall do all of the
following:
(1) By January 1, 2020, and January 1 each year
thereafter, prepare and provide the information to be
disseminated by county agencies, the department, the
Department of Human Services and institutions of higher
education which:
(i) Describes the availability of the program
established under this act.
(ii) Explains how to participate in the program.
(iii) Includes information on all available Federal
and State grants identified under section 3(d).
(2) Ensure that identified individuals who may be
eligible for services and programs under section 1738-E of
the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The
Fiscal Code, are informed of these services and programs.
(b) Duties of institutions of higher education.--Each
institution of higher education shall do all of the following:
(1) Through the POC required under section 5, provide
technical assistance to individuals who are eligible under
section 3(c) in completing admissions applications and
financial aid applications.
(2) Disseminate the information prepared under
subsection (a)(1) to all applicants for admission and to
prospective applicants for admission. An institution of
higher education may comply with this paragraph by including
a paper or electronic copy of the information with other
information or notifications provided to the applicant for
20190HB1276PN2057 - 5 -
<--
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
admission RECIPIENTS OF A PENNSYLVANIA CHAFEE EDUCATION AND
TRAINING GRANT UNDER THE FOSTER CARE INDEPENDENCE ACT OF 1999
(PUBLIC LAW 106-169, 113 STAT. 1882) THAT ARE APPLICANTS FOR
ADMISSION and by posting the information prepared under
subsection (a)(1) on the institution's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(3) To improve retention, report to the department by
June 30, 2021, and June 30 each year thereafter all of the
following:
(i) The number of students receiving a Pennsylvania
Chafee Education and Training Grant under the Foster Care
Independence Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-169, 113 Stat.
1882).
(ii) The number of students who apply for the
program.
(iii) The number of students participating in the
program.
(iv) The retention rates of students participating
in the program.
(v) The number of students who are participating in
the program and have unmet financial need.
(vi) Recommendations on how to improve outreach to
students who are or are potentially eligible for the
program.
(vii) Recommendations on ways in which to improve
the delivery of services to students who are eligible
under section 3(c).
(viii) Impediments to retaining students who are
eligible under section 3(c).
(4) The department may not require any other information
20190HB1276PN2057 - 6 -
<--
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
to be provided by an institution of higher education, except
as provided under paragraph (3).
Section 5. Point of contact.
Each institution of higher education shall designate an
appropriate staff person or persons as the point of contact for
students eligible for the program. The POC may be comprised of
one or more qualified staff members to provide the appropriate
support or expertise required for the duties specified in this
section. The POC shall have or ensure the delegation of the
following duties:
(1) Assist students in obtaining verification of
eligibility for the program from the courts, the county
agency or the Department of Human Services.
(2) Assist individuals who are eligible under section
3(c) in accessing available Federal and State financial aid
resources and in identifying further scholarship and grant
opportunities, in consultation with the institution's
financial aid department.
(3) Serve as the primary contact for all individuals
applying to or attending the institution who are eligible
under section 3(c).
(4) Provide all individuals applying to or attending the
institution who voluntarily disclose that they are eligible
under section 3(c) with information and referrals for on-
campus support services and resources, including admissions,
housing, financial aid, health, mental health, tutoring,
career, academic advising and other services.
(5) Provide all individuals applying to or attending the
institution who are eligible under section 3(c) with
information and referrals as available for off-campus support
20190HB1276PN2057 - 7 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
services, including transitional housing and medical
insurance and services.
(6) Post POC contact information on the publicly
accessible Internet website of the institution of higher
education.
Section 6. Report.
In order to determine and maximize the effectiveness of this
act, the department, in conjunction with the Department of Human
Services, shall collect information obtained from all
institutions of higher education under section 4(b)(3) and
prepare an anonymized report to be submitted by August 31, 2021,
and by August 31 of each year thereafter, to the chairperson and
minority chairperson of the Education Committee of the Senate,
the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Education
Committee of the House of Representatives, the chairperson and
minority chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee
of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of
the Children and Youth Committee of the House of Representatives
that contains all of the following:
(1) The number of students receiving a Pennsylvania
Chafee Education and Training Grant under the Foster Care
Independence Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-169, 113 Stat.
1882).
(2) The number of students who apply for the program.
(3) The number of students participating in the program.
(4) The retention rates of students participating in the
program.
(5) The number of students who are participating in the
program and have unmet financial needs.
(6) Recommendations on how to improve outreach to
20190HB1276PN2057 - 8 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
students who are or are potentially eligible for the program.
(7) Recommendations on ways in which to improve the
delivery of services to students who are eligible for the
program under section 3(c) and to address the impediments
identified under paragraph (8).
(8) Impediments to retaining students who are eligible
under section 3(c).
Section 7. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
20190HB1276PN2057 - 9 -
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9