Board Advocates for Students in Foster Youth College and Career Success Tracking

LOS ANGELES – With approximately 7,500 students residing in foster care, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education made a commitment Tuesday to identify best practices to address the unique needs of these students. The board approved the resolution “Foster Youth College and Career Success Tracking” to ensure this vulnerable group is enrolled, engaged, and on-track to graduate high school and continue to make progress in college and careers.

Joining in this commitment is the LA Compact, consisting of 22 major Los Angeles institutions that work together to achieve the vision of ensuring all students, especially students in the foster care system, succeed.

Board President Steve Zimmer said, “This resolution brings together the many elements of L.A. Unified’s commitment to our youth in the foster care system. We need to make sure this commitment translates to real transformation in outcomes. The ability to track data in collaboration with our higher education partners may be technical, but it is also pivotal in terms of making sure that all dreams are supported to the college graduation stage.”

Board Member Mónica García, the sponsor of the resolution, said, “We must be leaders in serving foster youth at high levels. Removing obstacles to get all students to graduation is our number one priority. We have seen that sharing data and working across jurisdictions has been a consistent strategy to help achievement. We welcome partnerships and supports for our kids. We thank partners; Advocates for Youth, the LA Compact, Opportunity Youth Collaborative, the Coalition for Educational Equity for Foster Youth and United Friends of the Children for their leadership on this important work.”

The District will collect reports and data that identify the college and career trajectories of foster youth who are exiting L.A. Unified. The data will be used to develop policies and practices that support the education of these students.

Board Member Mónica Ratliff said, “I greatly appreciate Board Member García bringing this resolution to the Board.  The data that can be gathered via this partnership will allow all of us to better serve foster youth and ensure their success.  All students deserve the chance to fulfill their potential.” 

Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez added, “I welcome all opportunities to use data to inform our decisions, so that we are intentional about the supports and programs we provide to our foster youth. Our goal of 100 percent graduation means 100 percent for all. This action shows our commitment to our foster youth, so that they can pursue the college and career path of their choosing.”            

The resolution also directs Superintendent King to report back in the fall of 2017 on the data-sharing with Cal-PASS Plus, which tracks foster students from kindergarten through four years of college, and the distribution of information regarding their status consistent with applicable laws.

Erika Torres, Executive Director of Student Health and Human Services for L.A. Unified, said, “I believe that it is critical to share relevant information with all stakeholders regarding our students so that they are better equipped and informed to support their needs.”

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766