Texas School Disitrict Under Investigation for Rate of Criminal Citations Given to African American Students
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that it will open an investigation of the Bryan Independent School District's (Bryan, Texas) use of school resource officers to issue criminal sanctions for a range of minor student misconduct. The announcement of the investigation comes just a few months after a formal complaint was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Center for Youth Law, on behalf of the public interest law center Texas Appleseed and the Brazos County branch of the NAACP.
This country pours millions of dollars into combatting sex trafficking through local and federal law enforcement, but the growing realization of the link between the child welfare system and child sex trafficking is making some people rethink that strategy. NCYL’s Kate Walker points out that juvenile justice may not be the most appropriate system to serve some of our nation's most vulnerable children — commercially sexually exploited children.
California budget includes new emphasis on foster youth in schools
The new local control funding formula (LCFF) of the California budget has the potential to significantly impact foster youth children in schools. FosterEd's Hahnel concurred, adding, "the proof will be in the implementation".
An Opportunity to Ensure Foster Kids Succeed in School
Jesse Hahnel, the founder and director of FosterEd, writes an Op-Ed piece discussing the recent budget and local control funding formula (LCFF). He argues that these changes have potential to dramatically increase educational access for foster children, if used effectively.
Despite a Drop in Number of Foster Youth, Significant Educational Obstacles Remain
The past fifteen years have seen a fifty percent decline in the number of children in the foster care system. Yet, educational advocates show that foster children are still doing significantly worse in school in comparison to their peers. With the recent changes in the California budget, California will be the first state to hold schools accountable for the academic success of foster youth.
Court's Program in AZ Aims to Help Foster Kids Succeed in School
Pima County's Juvenile Court will be the third court in the country to take part in FosterEd's initiative to help ensure the success of foster children in school. Under the direction of Pete Hershberger, the court will draw on FosterEd's formula which sets up "educational champions" for each child, responsible for ensuring the child has adequate support and oversight.
The budget bill passed today by California's legislature would make it the first state to hold schools and school districts accountable for the educational outcomes of foster children.
The No Child Left Behind act requires states to evaluate schools and school districts based on the progress of different subgroups of children, including students of color, students with disabilities, and students who primarily speak a language other than English. California’s budget bill adds foster youth to this list, creating an incentive for schools to focus on the educational progress of the approximately 42,000 school-age foster children in California.
Students in Dallas County truancy courts are being denied their constitutional rights, handcuffed and arrested for missing school, and subjected to substantial fines, according to a complaint filed June 12, 2013 with the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of seven Dallas area students.
Attorneys with the National Center for Youth Law, Texas Appleseed and Disability Rights Texas serve as legal counsel to the Complainants.
February 22, 2013 - The National Center for Youth Law, together with Santa Cruz County Human Services Department, Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz, Juvenile Division, launched FosterEd: Santa Cruz County today.
The project, part of the national FosterEd Initiative (www.Foster-Ed.org), will improve the educational outcomes of the hundreds of school-age children in foster care living in Santa Cruz County.
This year, NCYL's summer program has welcomed 12 students into its midst: nine law clerks, two undergraduate communications interns, and its very first public policy intern. Reporter Ameera Butt spoke with several of these interns, as well as Director John O’Toole, about NCYL’s work in the field of child welfare.
NCYL is committed to implementing a CA law that mandates public access to files of children who have died of abuse and neglect. In this story out of Kern County, CA, which has had a series of recent child deaths, NCYL Attorney Bill Grimm tells why the law is so critical to children's safety. Child Deaths: Who's Protecting Our Children? 17 KGET News, Feb. 23, 2012 ____________
" ... in the case of foster youth, California would be making a big mistake in abandoning a program that has been helping more than 40,000 young people navigate through school bureaucracies without traditional parent support." Editorial: State Should Keep Funding Foster Youth Services San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 15, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 2, 2011 California SB 9, a bill co-sponsored by NCYL that would give offenders sentenced as minors to life without parole a chance to request a parole hearing, was revived after the Assembly failed to pass it last week. » Read more about SB 9
Los Angeles Times, Aug. 21, 2011 California lawmakers have repeatedly missed opportunities to bring some fairness, rationality and humanity to juvenile sentencing. They get another chance this week, and they should take it. The Assembly should pass SB 9, a bill to give offenders sentenced as minors to life without parole a chance to request a parole hearing.
San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 21, 2011 California's practice of locking teenage offenders in prison for life without the possibility of parole would be upended under legislation just a few votes shy of reaching the governor's desk -- a change that would move the state closer to justice in conservative Texas and every other country in the world. NCYL Director John O'Toole is interviewed in this story.
NCYL led a coalition to pass California Senate Bill 39, which mandates child protective services agencies to release information about children who have died of abuse and neglect. Since the bill went into effect in 2008, NCYL, along with The Los Angeles Times, has closely monitored compliance with the law by the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services.
Sept. 28, 2011 - Advocates are celebrating an agreement that will provide intensive home- and community-based mental health services for California children in foster care or at risk of removal from their families. The agreement in the class-action suit Katie A. v. Bonta comes nine years after the case was first filed.
Sept. 6, 2011 - NCYL’s Foster Youth Education Initiative (FosterEd) launched a program today to improve the educational outcomes of the approximately 1,700 foster children in Marion County, Ind., which includes Indianapolis. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), the Indiana Youth Institute, and Child Advocates announced the launch of FosterEd: Marion County at a kick-off event in Indianapolis.