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Kansas sees new Foster Care Report Card

(WSAW)
Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 12:32 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Lara Kelly signs an executive order which implements a Foster Care Report Card.

Governor Laura Kelly says she has signed Executive Order #20-53 which establishes an annual education report card for students in foster care. She says the report card will track educational outcomes and collect data to then give to state leaders, education providers and stakeholders a picture of where improvements are needed in educating foster care kids in Kansas.

“This executive order is another step my administration is taking to improve outcomes for vulnerable children in the foster care system,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Education is key to a strong future workforce in Kansas. This report will help us track educational outcomes of all Kansas students in foster care – which will in turn help Kansas’ vulnerable families and make our public education system more accountable. I will continue to preserve the foster care programs that are already in place during this unprecedented pandemic. We will grow these foundational services and continue to fight on behalf of all Kansas children.”

Governor Kelly says the report card tracks the following:

  • The graduation rate of students in foster care at the end of each academic year; 
  • The number and percentage of students in foster care who were promoted to the next grade level; 
  • The number and percentage of students in foster care who were suspended during the school year, and the average number of days each student spent in suspension; 
  • The number and percentage of students in foster care who were expelled during the school year; 
  • State standardized assessment scores for students in foster care, including the number and percentage of students meeting academic standards as determined by the state board of education; 
  • The number and percentage of students in foster care enrolled in any preschool-aged at-risk program, Kansas preschool pilot program or early childhood special education program under section 619 of part B of the individuals with disabilities act;
  • The number and percentage of students in foster care who participated in the mental health intervention team pilot program or a similar mental health program; 
  • The total number of students in foster care enrolled in a school district or accredited nonpublic school and the disaggregated number and percentage of students in foster care enrolled in school districts and accredited nonpublic schools; and
  • De-identified disaggregated race and ethnicity data for each data set required
  • Any additional data elements that both the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department for Children and Families deem appropriate for inclusion.

According to the Governor, the executive order directs the Department for Children and Families to work with the Kansas Department of Education to accumulate the data. She says the report card will be published annually and presented to the House and Senate Educations committees by the Kansas Department for Children and Families by Jan. 15 of each year.

“I commend Governor Kelly for her continued leadership and commitment to building a strong foster care system in Kansas,” Secretary of Children and Families Laura Howard said. “I have long supported the idea of a foster care report card because I believe that a child’s success in education is a predictor for their success in life. The Department for Children and Families has already engaged with the Department of Education to begin gathering data. I look forward to seeing where the data leads us so we can identify ways in which both agencies can support foster youth in meaningful ways that ensure their wellbeing.”

Governor Kelly says the foster care report card was a provision in House Bill 2510 during the 2020 Legislative session that was vetoed by herself due to the fiscal crisis the state is facing.

To read Executive Order #20-53 visit the Governor’s website.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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