Legislature Funds Increased Educational Opportunities for 40,000 Foster Youth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2015
Melissa San Miguel (510) 835-8098 ext. 3025
Jackie Wong (510) 220-5190
Last night, the Legislative Budget Conference Committee, led by Chair Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Vice Chair Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), voted unanimously to provide an additional $25 million next year and $30 million in ongoing funds to the State’s Foster Youth Services (FYS) program so all foster youth, including children living with relatives, can access education supports to help them succeed in school. “Foster youth are the State’s kids, our kids, and it is our duty to ensure we are providing them all the things a parent would since they are in our care,” said Asm. Weber. “We want all foster youth, including children living with relatives, to benefit from existing state programs that are meant to help them get an education.”
“We are excited that the Legislature has shown true leadership in their efforts to help our foster youth graduate from high school, fulfill their potential and live out their college and career dreams,” said Jackie Wong, the National Center for Youth Law’s FosterEd: California Director. “We shouldn’t let another foster youth fall through the cracks and now urge the Governor to give students in foster care the educational supports they need for a fair start in life.”
The FYS program is a state-run, county-administered program. Unfortunately, abused or neglected children living with relatives were not eligible for educational services, thereby excluding 40,000 children from the benefits of Foster Youth Services. Now, they will be able eligible for the educational services they need, and this budget increase will pay for it.
The full Legislature must vote on the budget bill and send to the Governor by June 15th, who will then have until June 30th to sign the budget and enact line-item vetoes.