Posted: Tue, 08/22/2017 - 11:48am Updated: Mon, 03/09/2020 - 11:31am

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law on December 10, 2015. It reauthorizes the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was previously reauthorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Indiana Department of Education is currently in the process of determining how the requirements of ESSA will translate into state education practice: which state practices will evolve as a result of ESSA, and which will remain the same. As a part of this work, the state remains committed to its mission of building an education system of equity and high quality that is focused on student-centered accountability.

ESSA requires states to ensure protections for vulnerable youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems through school stability and transportation, immediate enrollment, mandatory data reporting, and agency collaboration.

Indiana Legislation

  • IC 31-34-15-1 requires a case plan to be developed for each child coming in to foster care. The plan must be developed within 60 days.
  • IC 31-34-15-4 (7) establishes a plan to ensure the educational stability of the child while in foster care so that the student either remains in the same school, or that there is immediate appropriate enrollment in a different school.
  • IC 20-50-3 establishes that transportation for students in foster care will be provided by the school corporation if the foster youth attends school in the same corporation - but not in the same attendance area of the original school. If the foster youth attends school in an adjoining school district both corporations are to enter into an agreement to transport the student. if there is no agreement costs will be divided 50/50.

IDOE / DCS Guidance Documents

Federal Legislation

  • Title IV-E of the Social Security Act provides federal matching funds to help states pay for foster care placements for children who meet federal eligibility requirements.
  • The Foster care Independence Act: Public Law 106-169 supports provision of health insurance to former foster children up to age 21, by way of states using Medicaid funds. It expands funds for those 18-21 year olds to benefit from Independent Living programs.
  • Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act 2008. PL 110-351 provides kinship guardian payments, allows foster youth eligibility for Medicaid, permits states to extend Title IV-E assistance to 18+ youth remaining in foster care, and requires Title IV-E agencies 90 days prior to emancipation to develop a personalized transition plan - as directed by the youth. The legislation provides federal funding to reimburse states who choose to support youth beyond 18 who are in post secondary education, participate in a program leading to employment, are employed at least 80 hours per month, or are incapable of doing so for health reasons.

USDOE Guidance