There was a landmark settlement handed down yesterday, in which the LAUSD has agreed to allocate $150M in funds towards high needs children to make up for accounting errors that failed to pass along funds to special groups, including foster children, non-english speakers and low income students.
A 2013 report from The Center for the Future for Teaching and Learning, “The Invisible Achievement Gap,” found that even compared with other at risk student groups, speciﬁcally students of low socioeconomic status, California foster children change schools more frequently than other students, are twice as likely to be classiﬁed as having a disability, and ﬁve times more likely to be classiﬁed as having an emotional disturbance. In fact, according to the Alliance for Children’s Rights, less than 50% of foster youth in LA County graduate from high school and only 3% graduate from college. Additionally, every time a child changes schools, it’s estimated that the child falls roughly 6 months behind peers.
CASA Educational Advocates play a key investigative role by conducting initial interviews with each individual and institution involved in the child’s life that may affect educational attainment and identifying special needs. They work with the Senior Program Coordinator, the school, and the child’s guardians to determine where support gaps exist for each child and explore all potential resources and approaches to fill those gaps, including psychological, educational, family, social, and basic service needs.