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Foster Care & ESSA

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for Foster Care Youth in Cuyahoga County

History: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) defined education policy for students in kindergarten through high school graduation. After many years of revisions to make the law work better for states and districts in December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA represents a shift toward increased state and local control of elementary and secondary education. However, the federal law maintains strong accountability measures that will ensure students across the country leave our schools with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in college, careers, and life. 

ESSA - Children in Foster Care: The Every Student Achieves Act provides all children and youth in foster care with core protections for school stability and school access through a statutory vehicle that is separate from the McKinney-Vento Act, and that outlines clear, distinct, and appropriate responsibilities for both the education and child welfare agencies. 

Cuyahoga County: The Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio is partnering with Cuyahoga County school districts and the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to guide practices around ESSA and Foster Care. The Educational Stability Network Meeting creates opportunities for networking and collaboration amongst educators and system partners including DCFS to address educational needs and promote stability for youth in foster care. 

Foster Youth and Education - Facts and Figures:

  • Children in foster care are far more likely to change schools during the school year, to be in special education classes, and to fail to receive passing grades than their general population counterparts.
  • High school dropout rates are three times higher for foster youth than other low-income children.
  • Only about 50% graduate from high school.
  • Over 40% of school-aged children in foster care have educational difficulties.
(National Foster Youth Initiative)

CLICK HERE to view Cuyahoga County Statistics.
CLICK HERE to view State of Ohio Statistics.
Denise Pietrzak, MSSA, LISW-S
Student Wellness Coordinator/System Navigator
ESC of Northeast Ohio
216-525-2524 (Office)
216-524-3683 (Fax)