28A.300.542  <<  28A.300.544 >>   28A.300.545

Students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or bothWork groupReport. (Expires December 31, 2024.)

(1) The office of the superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the department of children, youth, and families, the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs of the department of commerce, and the student achievement council, shall convene a work group to address the needs of students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both. Nothing in this section prevents the office of the superintendent of public instruction from using an existing work group created under the authority of section 223(1)(bb), chapter 299, Laws of 2018, with modifications to the membership and duties, to meet the requirements of this section. The work group, which shall seek to promote continuity with efforts resulting from section 223(1)(bb), chapter 299, Laws of 2018, must include representatives of nongovernmental agencies and representation from the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee. The work group must also include four legislative members who possess experience in issues of education, the foster care system, and homeless youth, appointed as follows:
(a) The president of the senate shall appoint one member from each of the two largest caucuses of the senate.
(b) The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint one member from each of the two largest caucuses of the house of representatives.
(2) The work group shall develop recommendations to promote the following for students who are in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both:
(a) The achievement of parity in education outcomes with the general student population; and
(b) The elimination of racial and ethnic disparities for education outcomes in comparison to the general student population.
(3) In developing the recommendations required by subsection (2) of this section, the work group shall:
(a) Review the education outcomes of students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both, by examining data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, on:
(i) Kindergarten readiness, early grade reading and math, eighth and ninth grade students on track to graduate, high school completion, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary completion; and
(ii) School attendance, school mobility, special education status, and school discipline;
(b) Evaluate the outcomes, needs, and service array for students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both, and the specific needs of students of color and students with special education needs;
(c) Engage stakeholders, including students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both, foster parents and relative caregivers, birth parents, caseworkers, school districts and educators, early learning providers, postsecondary institutions, and federally recognized tribes, to provide input on the development of recommendations; and
(d)(i) Submit annual reports to the governor, the appropriate committees of the legislature, and the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee by October 31, 2021, 2022, and 2023 that identify:
(A) Progress the state has made toward achieving education parity for students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both; and
(B) Recommendations that can be implemented using existing resources, rules, and regulations, and those that would require policy, administrative, and resource allocation changes prior to implementation.
(ii) Reports required by (d) of this subsection may include findings and recommendations regarding the feasibility of developing a case study to examine or implement recommendations of the work group.
(4) The work group, in accordance with RCW 43.01.036, must submit a final report to the governor, the appropriate committees of the legislature, and the educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee by July 1, 2024. The final report must include the recommendations required by subsection (2) of this section and may include a plan for achieving the recommendations specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(5) To assist the work group in the completion of its duties, the following apply:
(a) The office of the superintendent of public instruction, department of children, youth, and families, the student achievement council, and the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs of the department of commerce shall provide updated education data and other necessary data to the education data center established under RCW 43.41.400; and
(b) The education data center shall provide annual reports to the work group regarding education outcomes specified in subsection (3)(a)(i) and (ii) of this section by March 31, 2021, 2022, and 2023. If state funds are not available to produce the reports, the work group may pursue supplemental private funds to fulfill the requirements of this subsection (5)(b).
(6) Nothing in this section permits disclosure of confidential information protected from disclosure under federal or state law, including but not limited to information protected under chapter 13.50 RCW. Confidential information received by the work group retains its confidentiality and may not be further disseminated except as permitted by federal and state law.
(7) For the purposes of this section, "students in foster care, experiencing homelessness, or both" includes students who are in foster care or experiencing homelessness, and students who have been homeless or in foster care, or both.
(8) This section expires December 31, 2024.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2020 c 233: See note following RCW 74.13.1051.
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