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Don’t Cut the Education Program Helping Foster Kids….& Other Must Reads

February 2nd, 2012 by Celeste Fremon

A lot of necessary budget cutting is going on in the state right now. Many of the cuts are difficult. But in a few cases, the cuts are poorly thought out—- penny wise and pound foolish (as my mother would have put it).

The cut to Foster Youth Services is one of those cuts.

Foster Youth Services is a unique state program that helps !4,000 California kids in foster care stay in school and navigate their lives—help that is very much needed..

If you are not familiar with the stats, foster care kids, particularly the kids who age out of foster care, do not, as a group, have great outcomes—in school, in employment, in finding a stable place to live, at staying out of poverty.

More than one third of the nation’s runaway kids were in foster care during the year they ran away.

A third of those who age out of foster care wind upon the street, homeless.

Over 75 percent of foster youth students’ work is below grade level, 50 percent are held back at least one year in school. 75 percent of those who age out of foster care, fail to graduate high school.

However, if foster care kids are given tutoring, encouragement, and mentoring during their school years, their prospects change dramatically.

Created in 1981 as a pilot program, Foster Youth Services was so incredibly successful in keeping foster kids in school and helping them navigate their lives that, in 1998, it was expanded statewide to help foster kids from ages to 4 to 21, plus adolescents in juvenile detention facilities.

Suddenly kids began doing better.

Now, however, Foster Youth Services is scheduled to use its funding. It’s not that it’s being cut directly. It is that the funds especially designated for the program are no longer designated. This leaves the onus of providing funds for FYS will fall on the individual school districts—-WHICH ARE BUSY CUTTING EVERYTHING.

Thus it is the equivalent of defunding the program. And it is not in the state’s best interest to have this Foster Youth Services dumped.

This blog post by Amy Lemley has more.


The AP has the story:

A gay Army veteran and her wife sued the federal government on Wednesday after they were denied military benefits granted to straight spouses.

The lawsuit announced in Washington involves a 12-year veteran of the Army, Tracey Cooper-Harris. After leaving the Army she married Maggie Cooper-Harris in California in 2008. Two years later, Tracey Cooper-Harris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she has received disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a result. But her application for additional money and benefits that married veterans are entitled to was denied.


Lyle Denniston of ScotusBlog thinks today’s ruling may be a precursor for the next ruling-–which will be about whether or not the Prop 8 supporters who challenged the lower court ruling have the “standing” to have brought the challenge.

Heres a clip from the ScotusBlog story:

The first ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court on California’s controversial ban
on same-sex marriage — but not an ultimate ruling on the ban’s constitutionality — will be released Thursday morning, the Circuit Court announced Wednesday. Coming out at 1 p.m. Washington time (10 a.m. in San Francisco), this will be a decision on whether the courts will release, for public broadcast and public viewing in general, the videotapes made of the historic federal trial on the ban known as “Proposition 8.”

The ballot measure approved by California voters in November 2008 barred gay marriages in California, but the state Supreme Court later ruled that — while Proposition 8 did not violate the state constitution — marriages already performed among same-sex couples remained legal. The ban itself, however, was then challenged in a federal court case that unfolded in a three-week trial two years ago. A video recording was made of the entire trial and, although some limited excerpts of it have been played before selected audiences, the full tape remains under seal in federal court.

Posted in Foster Care, LGBT | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. donna myrow Says:

    Another blow to foster youth.

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