By Susan Frey
Elk Grove Unified has dramatically reduced suspensions and expulsions of foster youth by applying the principles of the recently passed law, Assembly Bill 1909, long before the bill was written.
The new law, which goes into effect in January, requires districts to notify social workers when a foster child enters one of their schools and to contact the child’s attorney if he or she faces a possible expulsion hearing. Unlike most children, foster children generally lack a parent to advocate for them if they get into trouble. They often shift from home to home, and depend on their social worker and court-appointed attorney, who serve as their advocates and typically know them best.