New Mexico Moves to Support students in foster Care
FosterEd: New Mexico has a key piece of its policy agenda on the way to Governor Susana Martinez’s desk.
SB 213/HB 301 sponsored by Senator Gay Kernan and Representatives Gail Chasey and Doreen Gallegos, ensures that our most vulnerable students—including students in foster care, students involved in the juvenile justice system, and homeless students—have supports and opportunities to graduate. The bills passed their respective houses without opposition and have the support of the Children, Youth and Families Department, and the Public Education Department.
SB 213/HB 301:
- ensures that student records are transferred quickly when the student moves schools or districts
- gives students who have experienced education disruption priority registration for classes required for graduation, access to extracurricular activities, and college and career support services
- allows students to graduate in 4 years if they meet state graduation requirements
Passage of the bill was due in large part to the powerful testimony of five young people who have foster care experience and who are part of New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks (NMCAN) VIP Leaders program. NMCAN has been a vital partner in the effort to address the educational needs of system involved children. These young people met with legislators to share their stories and explain how SB 213/HB 301 is critical for young people who experience frequent school moves. These amazing young people helped craft the language in SB 213/HB 301 ensuring that it will meet the needs of system-involved students.
A second NCYL authored piece of legislation to address the needs of students in foster care has been approved by two house committees. HB 411, also sponsored by Representative Gallegos, will ensure that there is a clear decision maker identified for each student in foster care to support the continuity of their education. It also addresses federal requirements that school districts identify a point of contact to support students in foster care and expands this support to students in the juvenile justice system in furtherance of ESSA implementation.