Bill says children placed in foster care may attend school district where foster care contractor is located

The Senate Education Committee held a hearing Tuesday on SB 319, which would clarify that children who have been placed by the Kansas Department for Children and Families or a court of competent jurisdiction into the care and physical custody of a foster care contractor; or who are being provided respite care, may attend school in the district where the foster care contractor provides services.  

According to KASB legal staff, the bill does not significantly change current law, but the hearing touched on a number of issues in the foster care system, including the need to keep students engaged in the foster care system, problems of frequent changes in placement, the special needs of student experiences trauma, and difficulties in accessing school records when students are moved. 

The bill was supported by Sen. Otha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, the Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates Association and a foster parent and educator. DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel testified as neutral, supporting the concept of the bill but suggesting it be amended to focus on the location of children awaiting placement, rather than on the foster family home or foster care contractor. 

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