FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 10, 2015 Contact: Melissa San Miguel (510) 835-8098 ext. 3025 Jackie Wong (510) 220-5190 Legislature Funds Increased Educational Opportunities for 40,000 Foster Youth Last night, the Legislative Budget Conference Committee, led by Chair Senator Mark Leno (DSan Francisco) and Vice Chair Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), voted unanimously to provide an additional $25 million next year and $30 million in ongoing funds to the State’s Foster Youth Services (FYS) program so all foster youth, including children living with relatives, can access education supports to help them succeed in school. “Foster youth are the State’s kids, our kids, and it is our duty to ensure we are providing them all the things a parent would since they are in our care,” said Asm. Weber. “We want all foster youth, including children living with relatives, to benefit from existing state programs that are meant to help them get an education.” “We are excited that the Legislature has shown true leadership in their efforts to help our foster youth graduate from high school, fulfill their potential and live out their college and career dreams,” said Jackie Wong, the National Center for Youth Law’s FosterEd: California Director. “We shouldn’t let another foster youth fall through the cracks and now urge the Governor to give students in foster care the educational supports they need for a fair start in life.” The FYS program is a state-run, county-administered program. Unfortunately, abused or neglected children living with relatives were not eligible for educational services, thereby excluding 40,000 children from the benefits of Foster Youth Services. Now, they will be able eligible for the educational services they need, and this budget increase will pay for it. The full Legislature must vote on the budget bill and send to the Governor by June 15th, who will then have until June 30th to sign the budget and enact line-item vetoes. ### About FosterEd FosterEd, launched in 2009, is an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law. FosterEd improves educational outcomes by ensuring foster children have educational champions and education teams supporting their success in school. Education specialists provide social workers, 405 14th Street, 15th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612-2701 | 510.835.8098 tel | 510.835-8099 fax [email protected] ▪ www.youthlaw.org teachers, school administrators, foster parents, biological parents, relative caregivers and others the skills and knowledge to identify educational strengths and ensure educational needs are met. The project ensures every foster child has an education case plan, and that these plans are implemented. About the National Center for Youth Law The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is a national non-profit organization that has been working for over four decades to improve the lives of at-risk children. Employing a range of strategies, NCYL works to ensure that low-income children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives.
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