HB 1999 establishes as goals:
- To make Washington #1 in the nation for foster care graduation rates;
- To make Washington #1 in the nation for enrollmnet in postsecondary education; and
- To make Washington #1 in the nation for foster care postsecondary completion.
The focus of the bill is to align, coordinate and consolidate existing programs geared towards improving education outcomes of foster youth and move programs out of DSHS into the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the WA Student Achievement Council (to then be contracted out to at least one nongovernmental entity). Contracts are to be outcome driven towards the goals stated above. Additionally, HB 1999, subject to the appropriation of funds, implements two sites that will provide individualized education services, monitoring and support regarding dependent youths’ education needs. One of the sites is required to be the site previously selected per the 2013-2015 biennial budget. The second site must be selected by Sept. 1, 2015. The services that must be provided are identified in the bill and include (but are not limited to): advocacy for foster youth to eliminate barriers to education access and success; consultation with schools and DSHS caseworkers to develop education plans for and with participating youth; monitoring education progress and providing interventions to improve attendance, behavior, and course performance of participating youth; and more.
Second SHB 1999 as amended by the House Appropriations Committee: A requirement that the second demonstration site be selected by September 1, 2015, is removed. A requirement that the second demonstration site be implemented after July 1, 2016, is added.