Children’s Law Center suggests procedural safeguards be added to the graduation requirements to account for vulnerable and transient students, including those who are in the foster care system or who face homelessness. Read a summary below or download the full comments.
Children in the neglect system often move frequently from one foster placement to another, while other DC students experience housing instability or even homelessness due to poverty. Beyond these issues, students may have mental health or educational disabilities that lead to placement in non-public schools or residential treatment facilities. These moves make it difficult for students to accrue or recover credit for their work, and often contributes to dropping out. Compounding this, the proposed requirements are among the most stringent in the nation. This seems inappropriate for a school system with an already low graduation rate, and it provides extra challenges for students who are struggling to maintain grade level standards or who have special needs. A smoother transfer of credits from one school to the next would motivate more students to stay in school and minimize the need for waivers of graduation requirements.