Rep. Carlyle bill seeks to help foster kids finish school
Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) has a smart proposal to help foster children complete their education and be better prepared for success in life. HB 1566 would require that foster children in grades 6 to 12 have an appointed educational liaison, someone who can advocate on the child’s behalf, help navigate the complexities of public education and, most importantly, catch the early signs that a student is in danger of dropping out.
This proposal is not about adding layers of costly bureaucracy to an overloaded system. An education liaison would be someone known to the the child; a parent, a family member, a foster parent, or other suitable person.
All loving parents encourage their older children to complete their education and to think about their future. Foster children, however, have more immediate worries. It’s hard to think about your future when you’re not even sure if you’ll be living in the same house in a few months, or when you may be bounced to a different school, or both. From working with foster kids I can tell you that graduating from high school is seldom their top concern. And who can blame them, considering the wrenching changes that regularly swirl through their lives? For many foster children, just getting through the day is a major accomplishment.
Rep. Carlyle’s bill seeks to bring stability and guidance to the educational life of foster kids, to help develop their minds, to help make the most of their talents, and to prepare them for the day when they can stand on their own and join society as caring, independent adults.