Efforts to better coordinate access to education for children and youth in foster care may have suffered a setback last week Thursday. The Senate approved a roll-back of Obama Administration regulations to implement the new education law.
The regulations covered numerous parts of the newly reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education ACT (ESEA). In part the regulations provided rules for state education agencies on how to implement provisions in both education and the child welfare law that seek to assure that young people in foster care can continue to attend their school of origin if it’s in their best interest. The laws also require immediate enrollment in new school if that is what is in the student’s best interest. The regulations may have helped address the challenge of transportation costs which can be a challenge and barrier between the two systems.
The regulations were rolled back under a Congressional Review Act which gives Congress the ability to repeal regulations within 60 legislative days if both houses act and the President signs it. The CRA had been used only once before this Congress, in 2001 it was used to repeal a labor regulation enacted under President Bill Clinton and repealed under President George W Bush. This time House and Senate Republicans have been using it to repeal a series of recent Obama regulations. Despite the action, the law’s requirements still stand but enforcement could be more of a challenge.