AB 854 Expands Linkages Between K-12 and Post-Secondary Education

On October 9, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 854 (Weber) into law, making substantial changes to the Foster Youth Services (FYS) program, housed within County Offices of Education across the state. The bill, which renames the program the Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP), shifts the role of the program to have a greater focus on coordinating child welfare, probation, the courts, and local school districts. AB 854 also aligns eligibility for the program with the Local Control Funding Formula, enabling youth placed with relatives to receive support through the program.

The bill also contains several provisions that expand collaboration and coordination between the FYSCP and post-secondary education. Each local program must develop a plan that describes how the program will facilitate coordination with local postsecondary educational institutions, including local Community Colleges, California State Universities, and University of California campuses, to ensure foster youth pupils meet admission requirements and access programs that support their matriculation needs. In addition, the new law specifies that post-secondary representatives should be considered for inclusion in local program advisory councils. Finally, new data requirements include reporting on the number of pupils participating in a FYSCP who successfully transition to postsecondary education.