Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 64100]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 27. PUPILS [48000 - 49704]

  ( Part 27 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 5.5. Education of Pupils in Foster Care and Pupils Who Are Homeless [48850 - 48859]
  ( Heading of Chapter 5.5 amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 772, Sec. 1. )

48850.
  

(a) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all pupils in foster care and those who are homeless, as defined by the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), have a meaningful opportunity to meet the challenging state pupil academic achievement standards to which all pupils are held. In fulfilling their responsibilities to these pupils, educators, county placing agencies, care providers, advocates, and the juvenile courts shall work together to maintain stable school placements and to ensure that each pupil is placed in the least restrictive educational programs, and has access to the academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils, including, but not necessarily limited to, interscholastic sports administered by the California Interscholastic Federation. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child and shall consider, among other factors, educational stability and the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive educational setting necessary to achieve academic progress.

(2) A foster child who changes residences pursuant to a court order or decision of a child welfare worker or a homeless child or youth shall be immediately deemed to meet all residency requirements for participation in interscholastic sports or other extracurricular activities.

(3) (A) Pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), public schools, including charter schools, and county offices of education shall immediately enroll a homeless child or youth seeking enrollment except where the enrollment would be in conflict with subdivision (d) of Section 47605.

(B) The department and the State Department of Social Services shall identify representatives from the department, the State Department of Social Services, and other state agencies that have experience in homeless youth issues to develop policies and practices to support homeless children and youths and to ensure that child abuse and neglect reporting requirements do not create barriers to the school enrollment and attendance of homeless children or youths, including, but not limited to, ensuring that a pupil who is a homeless child or youth is not reported to law enforcement by school personnel if the sole reason for the report is the pupil’s homelessness. The selected representatives shall present the policies and practices to the Superintendent and the State Department of Social Services to be considered for implementation or dissemination, as appropriate.

(b) Every county office of education shall make available to agencies that place children in licensed children’s institutions information on educational options for children residing in licensed children’s institutions within the jurisdiction of the county office of education for use by the placing agencies in assisting parents and foster children to choose educational placements.

(c) For purposes of individuals with exceptional needs residing in licensed children’s institutions, making a copy of the annual service plan, prepared pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 56205, available to those special education local plan areas that have revised their local plans pursuant to Section 56836.03 shall meet the requirements of subdivision (b).

(d) For purposes of this section, “homeless child or youth” and “homeless children and youths” are defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 491, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2014.)

48852.
  

Every agency that places a child in a licensed children’s institution shall notify the local educational agency at the time a pupil is placed in a licensed children’s institution. As part of that notification, the placing agency shall provide any available information on immediate past educational placements to facilitate prompt transfer of records and appropriate educational placement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit prompt educational placement prior to notification.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 311, Sec. 1. Effective August 19, 1998.)

48852.5.
  

(a) Pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall ensure that public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated in schools within the liaison’s local educational agency that provide services pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.).

(b) The department shall provide informational materials to local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths regarding the educational rights of homeless children and youths under state and federal law, updates and changes to state and federal law regarding the rights of homeless students, the responsibilities of local educational agency liaisons relating to homeless children and youths, and the resources available to schools to assist homeless children and youths.

(c) The department shall provide training materials to local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths to assist liaisons with providing professional development and other support to school personnel providing services pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. These materials are intended to support liaisons in meeting the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, as specified in Section 11432(g)(6)(A)(ix) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(d) The department may use and adapt informational and training materials from state or national sources when applicable and appropriate.

(e) The department shall adopt policies and practices to ensure that local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths participate in professional development and other technical assistance programs that are deemed appropriate by the Superintendent in accordance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, as specified in Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(iv) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(f) For purposes of this section, “homeless children and youths” is defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 538, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017.)

48852.7.
  

(a) At the point of any change or any subsequent change in residence once a child becomes a homeless child, the local educational agency serving the homeless child shall allow the homeless child to continue his or her education in the school of origin through the duration of homelessness.

(b) If the homeless child’s status changes before the end of the academic year so that he or she is no longer homeless, either of the following apply:

(1) If the homeless child is in high school, the local educational agency shall allow the formerly homeless child to continue his or her education in the school of origin through graduation.

(2) If the homeless child is in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, the local educational agency shall allow the formerly homeless child to continue his or her education in the school of origin through the duration of the academic school year.

(c) To ensure that the homeless child has the benefit of matriculating with his or her peers in accordance with the established feeder patterns of school districts, the following apply:

(1) If the homeless child is transitioning between school grade levels, the local educational agency shall allow the homeless child to continue in the school district of origin in the same attendance area.

(2) If the homeless child is transitioning to a middle school or high school, and the school designated for matriculation is in another school district, the local educational agency shall allow the homeless child to continue to the school designated for matriculation in that school district.

(3) The new school shall immediately enroll the homeless child even if the child has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school last attended or is unable to produce clothing or records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, including, but not limited to, records or other proof of immunization history pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, proof of residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section shall not supersede or exceed other laws governing special education services for eligible homeless children.

(e) (1) The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.) shall govern the procedures for transportation and dispute resolution with respect to homeless children and school of origin.

(2) This section does not require a school district to provide transportation to a former homeless child who has an individualized education program that does not require transportation as a related service and who changes residence but remains in his or her school of origin pursuant to this section, unless the individualized education program team determines that transportation is a necessary related service, or the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires transportation to be provided.

(3) This section does not require a school district to provide transportation services to allow a homeless child to attend a school or school district, unless otherwise required under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act or other federal law. A school district may, at its discretion, provide transportation services to allow a homeless child to attend a school or school district.

(f) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Homeless child” has the same meaning as in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

(2) “School of origin” means the school that the homeless child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled. If the school the homeless child attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the homeless child attended with which the homeless child is connected and that the homeless child attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the homeless child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the homeless child, shall determine, in the best interests of the homeless child, the school that shall be deemed the school of origin.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 289, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2016.)

48853.
  

(a) A pupil described in subdivision (a) of Section 48853.5 who is placed in a licensed children’s institution or foster family home as defined in Section 56155.5, shall attend programs operated by the local educational agency, unless one of the following applies:

(1) The pupil is entitled to remain in his or her school of origin pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 48853.5.

(2) The pupil has an individualized education program requiring placement in a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency, or in another local educational agency.

(3) The parent or guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 56055, determines that it is in the best interests of the pupil to be placed in another educational program, in which case the parent or guardian or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil shall provide a written statement that he or she has made that determination to the local educational agency. This statement shall include a declaration that the parent, guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil is aware of all of the following:

(A) The pupil has a right to attend a regular public school in the least restrictive environment.

(B) The alternate education program is a special education program, if applicable.

(C) The decision to unilaterally remove the pupil from the regular public school and to place the pupil in an alternate education program may not be financed by the local educational agency.

(D) Any attempt to seek reimbursement for the alternate education program may be at the expense of the parent, guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil.

(b) For purposes of ensuring a parent, guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil is aware of the information described in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), the local educational agency may provide him or her with that information in writing.

(c) Before any decision is made to place a pupil in a juvenile court school as defined by Section 48645.1, a community school as described in Sections 1981 and 48660, or other alternative educational setting, the parent or guardian, or person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 56055, shall first consider placement in the regular public school.

(d) If any dispute arises as to the school placement of a pupil subject to this section, the pupil has the right to remain in his or her school of origin, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 48853.5, pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the existing dispute resolution process available to any pupil served by the local educational agency.

(e) This section does not supersede other laws that govern pupil expulsion.

(f) This section does not supersede any other law governing the educational placement in a juvenile court school, as defined by Section 48645.1, of a pupil detained in a county juvenile hall, or committed to a county juvenile ranch, camp, forestry camp, or regional facility.

(g) (1) Foster children living in emergency shelters, as referenced in the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), may receive educational services at the emergency shelter as necessary for short periods of time for either of the following reasons:

(A) For health and safety emergencies.

(B) To provide temporary, special, and supplementary services to meet the child’s unique needs if a decision regarding whether it is in the child’s best interests to attend the school of origin cannot be made promptly, it is not practical to transport the child to the school of origin, and the child would otherwise not receive educational services.

(2) The educational services may be provided at the shelter pending a determination by the person holding the right regarding the educational placement of the child.

(h) All educational and school placement decisions shall be made to ensure that the child is placed in the least restrictive educational programs and has access to academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child.

(i) (1) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department’s receipt of the appeal.

(3) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.

(4) Information regarding the requirements of this section shall be included in the annual notification distributed to, among others, pupils, parents or guardians of pupils, employees, and other interested parties pursuant to Section 4622 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2017.)

48853.5.
  

(a) This section applies to a foster child. “Foster child” means a child who has been removed from his or her home pursuant to Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or has been removed from his or her home and is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b) The department, in consultation with the California Foster Youth Education Task Force, shall develop a standardized notice of the educational rights of foster children, as specified in Sections 48850 to this section, inclusive, 48911, 48915.5, 49069.5, 49076, 51225.1, and 51225.2. The notice shall include complaint process information, as applicable. The department shall make the notice available to educational liaisons for foster children for dissemination by posting the notice on its Internet Web site. Any version of this notice prepared for use by foster children shall also include, to the greatest extent practicable, the rights established pursuant to Section 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. In developing the notice that includes the rights in Section 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the department shall consult with the Office of the State Foster Care Ombudsperson.

(c) Each local educational agency shall designate a staff person as the educational liaison for foster children. In a school district that operates a foster children services program pursuant to Chapter 11.3 (commencing with Section 42920) of Part 24 of Division 3, the educational liaison shall be affiliated with the local foster children services program. The educational liaison shall do both of the following:

(1) Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of foster children.

(2) Assist foster children when transferring from one school to another school or from one school district to another school district in ensuring proper transfer of credits, records, and grades.

(d) If so designated by the superintendent of the local educational agency, the educational liaison shall notify a foster child’s attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency of pending expulsion proceedings if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, pending proceedings to extend a suspension until an expulsion decision is rendered if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, and, if the foster child is an individual with exceptional needs, pending manifestation determinations pursuant to Section 1415(k) of Title 20 of the United States Code if the local educational agency has proposed a change in placement due to an act for which the decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent of schools.

(e) This section does not grant authority to the educational liaison that supersedes the authority granted under state and federal law to a parent or legal guardian retaining educational rights, a responsible adult appointed by the court to represent the child pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a surrogate parent, or a foster parent exercising the authority granted under Section 56055. The role of the educational liaison is advisory with respect to placement decisions and determination of the school of origin.

(f) (1) At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement of a foster child, the local educational agency serving the foster child shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court.

(2) If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated before the end of an academic year, the local educational agency shall allow a former foster child who is in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, to continue his or her education in the school of origin through the duration of the academic school year.

(3) (A) If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated while a foster child is in high school, the local educational agency shall allow the former foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin through graduation.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, a school district is not required to provide transportation to a former foster child who has an individualized education program that does not require transportation as a related service and who changes residence but remains in his or her school of origin pursuant to this paragraph, unless the individualized education program team determines that transportation is a necessary related service.

(4) To ensure that the foster child has the benefit of matriculating with his or her peers in accordance with the established feeder patterns of school districts, if the foster child is transitioning between school grade levels, the local educational agency shall allow the foster child to continue in the school district of origin in the same attendance area, or, if the foster child is transitioning to a middle school or high school, and the school designated for matriculation is in another school district, to the school designated for matriculation in that school district.

(5) Paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) do not require a school district to provide transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district, unless otherwise required under federal law. This paragraph does not prohibit a school district from, at its discretion, providing transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district.

(6) The educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, may recommend, in accordance with the foster child’s best interests, that the foster child’s right to attend the school of origin be waived and the foster child be enrolled in a public school that pupils living in the attendance area in which the foster child resides are eligible to attend.

(7) Before making a recommendation to move a foster child from his or her school of origin, the educational liaison shall provide the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child with a written explanation stating the basis for the recommendation and how the recommendation serves the foster child’s best interests.

(8) (A) If the educational liaison, in consultation with the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, agrees that the best interests of the foster child would best be served by his or her transfer to a school other than the school of origin, the foster child shall immediately be enrolled in the new school.

(B) The new school shall immediately enroll the foster child even if the foster child has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school last attended or is unable to produce clothing or records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, including, but not limited to, records or other proof of immunization history pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, proof of residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.

(C) Within two business days of the foster child’s request for enrollment, the educational liaison for the new school shall contact the school last attended by the foster child to obtain all academic and other records. The last school attended by the foster child shall provide all required records to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended. The educational liaison for the school last attended shall provide all records to the new school within two business days of receiving the request.

(9) If a dispute arises regarding the request of a foster child to remain in the school of origin, the foster child has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the existing dispute resolution process available to a pupil served by the local educational agency.

(10) The local educational agency and the county placing agency are encouraged to collaborate to ensure maximum use of available federal moneys, explore public-private partnerships, and access any other funding sources to promote the well-being of foster children through educational stability.

(11) It is the intent of the Legislature that this subdivision shall not supersede or exceed other laws governing special education services for eligible foster children.

(g) For purposes of this section, “school of origin” means the school that the foster child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the foster child was last enrolled. If the school the foster child attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which the foster child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster child attended with which the foster child is connected and that the foster child attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, shall determine, in the best interests of the foster child, the school that shall be deemed the school of origin.

(h) This section does not supersede other law governing the educational placements in juvenile court schools, as described in Section 48645.1, by the juvenile court under Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(i) (1) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department’s receipt of the appeal.

(3) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.

(4) Information regarding the requirements of this section shall be included in the annual notification distributed to, among others, pupils, parents or guardians of pupils, employees, and other interested parties pursuant to Section 4622 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 772, Sec. 3.5. Effective January 1, 2016.)

48854.
  

A licensed children’s institution or nonpublic, nonsectarian school, or agency may not require as a condition of placement that educational authority for a child, as defined in Section 48859 be designated to that institution, school, or agency.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 311, Sec. 1. Effective August 19, 1998.)

48856.
  

A local educational agency shall invite at least one noneducational agency representative that has placement responsibility for a pupil residing in a licensed children’s institution to collaborate with the local educational agency in the monitoring of a placement in a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 311, Sec. 1. Effective August 19, 1998.)

48859.
  

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “County placing agency” means the county social services department or county probation department.

(b) “Educational authority” means an entity designated to represent the interests of a child for educational and related services.

(c) “Local educational agency” means a school district, a county office of education, a charter school, or a special education local plan area.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 289, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2016.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC