National Center for Youth Law


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New Mexico Demonstration Project Wraps Up

HUNAP-HPAC trip to New Mexico to recruit Native American students for Harvard. A Native American student at Bernalillo High School looks over a Harvard brochure. The fact that Harvard waives tuition entirely for families earning less than $65,000 annually, makes it a more viable option than attending the University of New Mexico or even a local tribal college.
Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

FosterEd ended two years of incredible work and partnerships in New Mexico on May 15, 2018. We would like to thank all of our partners for their support and dedication to improving the lives of young people in New Mexico and celebrate some of our shared successes.

Lea County Demonstration Site

Beginning in March 2016, our FosterEd liaison in Lea County worked directly with 74 students who were in foster care or on court-ordered probation over a two year period, helping them identify education goals, strengths and needs and ensuring that all systems involved with the student’s life prioritized educational planning. RTI, an independent evaluator, will issue a full evaluation of the impact of our work in Lea County. Some preliminary results from RTI can be found here.

Statewide Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in 2015, contains specific provisions to ensure that students in foster care  have an uninterrupted educational experience. FosterEd worked closely with the Children Youth and Families Department, Public Education Department, and school districts including Albuquerque Public Schools as New Mexico developed and implemented its plan to ensure ESSA protections are in place for all students in foster care.

New Mexico Legislation

FosterEd worked with our advocacy partners, NMCAN to develop and support groundbreaking legislation to provide support to students who are in foster care, in the juvenile justice system, and experiencing homelessness. SB 213 and HB 411 ensure that credits transfer for these students in a timely manner, that students receive priority placement in classes they need for graduation, that students have a right to participate in extracurricular activities when they transfer schools, that students can graduate in four years, and that school districts have a point of contact identified to help these students. The legislation went into effect on July 1, 2017 leaving New Mexico well-poised to support our most vulnerable students.

FosterEd is grateful to all of our partners for their work and support over the past two years. We would like to especially thank all of the young people and families with whom we were able to work with and who helped us understand what system-involved students need to be successful.