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Legal Resources | Education Code |  EC  51225.1  

Foster Youth, Homeless Children and Children of Military Families; Course Credits; Graduations Requirements   

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(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a school district shall exempt a pupil in foster care, as defined in Section 51225.2, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, as defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a former juvenile court school pupil, as defined in Section 51225.2, or a pupil who is a child of a military family, as defined in Section 49701, who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil's second year of high school from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing board of the school district that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3, unless the school district makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the school district's graduation requirements in time to graduate from high school by the end of the pupil's fourth year of high school.

(b) If the school district determines that the pupil in foster care, the pupil who is a homeless child or youth, the former juvenile court school pupil, or the pupil who is a child of a military family is reasonably able to complete the school district's graduation requirements within the pupil's fifth year of high school, the school district shall do all of the following:

(1) Inform the pupil of his or her option to remain in school for a fifth year to complete the school district's graduation requirements.

(2) Inform the pupil, and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, about how remaining in school for a fifth year to complete the school district's graduation requirements will affect the pupil's ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution.

(3) Provide information to the pupil about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges.

(4) Permit the pupil to stay in school for a fifth year to complete the school district's graduation requirements upon agreement with the pupil, if the pupil is 18 years of age or older, or, if the pupil is under 18 years of age, upon agreement with the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil.

(c) To determine whether a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family is in the third or fourth year of high school, either the number of credits the pupil has earned to the date of transfer or the length of the pupil's school enrollment may be used, whichever will qualify the pupil for the exemption.

(d) (1) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil in foster care who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the school district shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil's social worker or probation officer of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.

(B) If the school district fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the termination of the court's jurisdiction over the pupil, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.

(2) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil who is a homeless child or youth who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the school district shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.

(B) If the school district fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil is no longer a homeless child or youth, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.

(3) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a former juvenile court school pupil who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the school district shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil's social worker or probation officer of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.

(B) If the school district fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after termination of the court's jurisdiction over the pupil, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.

(4) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil who is a child of a military family who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the school district shall notify the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.

(B) If the school district fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil no longer meets the definition of "children of military families" under Section 49701, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.

(e) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section and completes the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3 before the end of his or her fourth year of high school and that pupil would otherwise be entitled to remain in attendance at the school, a school or school district shall not require or request that the pupil graduate before the end of his or her fourth year of high school.

(f) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the school district shall notify the pupil and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil how any of the requirements that are waived will affect the pupil's ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution and shall provide information about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges.

(g) A pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family who is eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section and would otherwise be entitled to remain in attendance at the school shall not be required to accept the exemption or be denied enrollment in, or the ability to complete, courses for which he or she is otherwise eligible, including courses necessary to attend an institution of higher education, regardless of whether those courses are required for statewide graduation requirements.

(h) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family is not exempted from local graduation requirements or has previously declined the exemption pursuant to this section, a school district shall exempt the pupil at any time if an exemption is requested by the pupil and the pupil qualifies for the exemption.

(i) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, a school district shall not revoke the exemption.

(j) (1) If a pupil in foster care is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the termination of the court's jurisdiction over the pupil while he or she is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school or school district.

(2) If a pupil who is a homeless child or youth is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil is no longer a homeless child or youth while he or she is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school or school district.

(3) If a former juvenile court school pupil is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the termination of the court's jurisdiction over the pupil while he or she is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school or school district.

(4) If a pupil who is a child of a military family is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil no longer meets the definition of "children of military families" under Section 49701 while he or she is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school or school district.

(k) A school district shall not require or request a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, or a pupil who is a child of a military family to transfer schools in order to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.

(l) (1) A pupil in foster care, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, the pupil's social worker, or the pupil's probation officer shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.

(2) A pupil who is a homeless child or youth, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, or the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.

(3) A former juvenile court school pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, the pupil's social worker, or the pupil's probation officer shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.

(4) A pupil who is a child of a military family, or the pupil's parent or guardian, shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.

(m) (1) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department's receipt of the appeal.

(3) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.

(4) Information regarding the requirements of this section shall be included in the annual notification distributed to, among others, pupils, parents or guardians of pupils, employees, and other interested parties pursuant to Section 4622 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 739, Sec. 1.)