Legal References

State Law Overview 

RCW 28A.150.510 - Transmittal of education records to department of social and health services

  • Requires the prompt/timely transmission of student records to DCYF for appropriate case planning and maximizing the student's academic achievement, and
  • Allows for data sharing for Passport to College and College Bound Scholarship Program

RCW 28A.225.023 - Review of unexpected or excessive absences-Support for youth's school work.

  • Requires districts to monitor the unexpected or excessive absences of dependent youth,
  • Proactively support the youth's school work so the student does not fall behind, and
  • Avoid suspension or expulsion based on truancy

RCW 28A.225.330(7) - Enrolling students from other districts

  • Prevents school districts from denying or delaying the enrollment of dependent youth
  • Requires school districts to retrieve school records (educational history) within two business days

RCW 28A.225.350 - Students in out-of-home care - Best Interest Determinations

  • Best interest determinations should be made as quickly as possible in order to prevent educational discontinuity for the student.
  • Every effort should be made to gather meaningful input from relevant persons.
  • Student-centered factors must be used to determine what is in a student's best interest.
  • Student must remain in his or her school of origin while a best interest determination is made and while disputes are resolved.
  • The special education services of a student must not be interrupted by a transfer to a new school.

RCW 28A.225.360 - School districts must collaborate with the department of children, youth, and families.

RCW 28A.320.148 - Foster care liaison
Each school district must designate a foster care liaison to:

  • Facilitate district compliance with state and federal laws related to students in out-of-home care, and
  • Collaborate with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to address educational barriers

RCW 28A.320.192 - On-time grade level progression and graduation of students who are dependent youth.

  • Requires school districts to facilitate the on-time graduation of student in foster care by:
  • Waiving specific courses required for graduation if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed in another school district,
  • Providing an alternative means to complete required coursework necessary for graduation,
  • Consolidating unresolved coursework and providing opportunities for credit accrual, or
  • Facilitating the graduation from the sending district where graduation requirements were met

RCW 13.34.045 - Educational liaison-Identification

  • Requires an educational liaison for students in grades 6-12 to be identified at each hearing in the dependency process. This person should be committed to providing on-going educational supports for the youth.

RCW 74.13.550 - Child placement-Policy of educational continuity

  • Requires that, whenever practical and in the best interest of the child, children placed into foster care shall remain enrolled in the schools they were attending at the time they entered foster care.

RCW 74.13.560 - Educational continuity - Protocol Development

  • The administrative regions of DCYF must develop protocols with school districts specifying strategies for communication, coordination, and collaboration regarding the status and progress of foster children in the region.
  • Protocols for making best interest determinations and methods to assure effective sharing of information must be included.
  • The protocols for making best interest determinations for students in out-of-home care must be implemented before changing the school placement of a student.

RCW 74.13.631 - School-aged youth in out-of-home care-School placement options
The department shall provide youth residing in out-of-home care the opportunity to remain enrolled in the school he or she was attending prior to out-of-home placement, unless the safety of the youth is jeopardized, or a relative or other suitable person placement approved by the department is secured for the youth, or it is determined not to be in the youth's best interest to remain enrolled in the school

The educational responsibilities of DCYF for school-aged youth residing in out-of-home care include:

  • To collaboratively discuss and document school placement options and plan necessary school transfers during the family team decision-making meeting, consistent with the provisions for making best interest determinations;
  • To notify the receiving school and the school of origin that a youth residing in foster care is transferring schools;
  • To document factors that contributed to any school disruptions;
  • To pay any unpaid fees or fines due by the youth to the school or school district.

Federal Law Overview
Every Student Succeeds Act (2015)

Fostering Connections Act (2008)

Uninterrupted Scholars Act (2013)