In an effort to provide greater educational stability for Foster Care students, the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) clearly state that a child in Foster Care may remain in his or her school of origin if that is determined to be in the child’s best interest. If, on the other hand, it is in the child’s best interest to be enrolled in a new school, the child must be immediately enrolled, and the new school will promptly contact the school of origin to obtain necessary records. Additionally, the local education agencies (LEAs), the state education agencies (SEAs), and the child welfare agencies must collaborate to develop and implement clearly written procedures for how transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of a child’s time in Foster Care.
Scott County Schools has developed the following procedure for offering transportation to Foster students who move from their school of origin to another school/district:
Designated school personnel have been trained in the district’s Foster Care protocols. Appropriate personnel have been given contact information for the Foster Care Liaison. The parent may contact school district personnel or the Foster Care Liaison to inquire about transportation opportunities.
ESSA ensures that collaborative efforts must be implemented to determine what is best for the Foster student. Ensuring that providing transportation to the Foster student’s school of origin is in the best interest of the student should be determined by these best interest considerations:
- Time of placement change
- Type of transportation options available
- Flexibility in school schedule
- Impact of extracurricular activities on transportation options
- Maturity and behavioral capacity of the Foster student
Additional factors when deciding on an appropriate mode of transportation:
- The child’s safety
- The length and distance of the commute
- All available transportation options
- Community resources
After a request for transportation is submitted to the Foster Care Liaison, a committee consisting of appropriate personnel will determine if transportation is in the best interest of the Foster Care student. The committee may consist of, but not limited to, the Foster Care Liaison, a school counselor, a school administrator, and the caseworker or DCS personnel, as deemed appropriate.
After transportation requests have been processed, the Foster Care District Liaison will report the decision to the Foster parent. If transportation to the school of origin is in the best interest of the student, the District Liaison will contact transportation to make the necessary arrangements.