Friday, May 27, 2022

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High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

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Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

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New Law Supports PA Students Facing Graduation Barriers

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Thursday, January 27, 2022   

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law on Wednesday to provide direct support to Pennsylvania youth experiencing educational instability, ensuring they have a clear pathway to high school graduation.

Senate Bill 324 was introduced by Sen. Wayne Langherholc, R-Bedford County. It provides graduation planning and a smoother transfer of academic credits, among other resources for young people in Pennsylvania who are experiencing homelessness or who are in the foster-care or juvenile-justice systems.

Rachael Miller, policy director at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said many students face challenges outside their control.

"For example, changes in physical homes or moves between counties and ultimately disruption in their education," Miller outlined. "The legislation really levels the playing field for disadvantaged youths who often experience poorer outcomes than their peers based on these unique experiences."

The bill passed earlier this month and was presented to the governor last week. Only 75% of Pennsylvania kids in foster care receive their high school diploma or GED degree by age 21, according to 2018 data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Miller noted the legislation also creates a point-of-contact person for the students, who will help them coordinate classes, connect with mental-health resources, and confirm academic records and credits accurately transfer to their new school.

"This point of contact will ensure that the social-services agencies that are involved are at the table," Miller explained. "Also, ensuring that when a student is preparing for graduation that there is a solid graduation plan so that the student does have the opportunity to graduate on time."

The law also codifies protections for students, so they are not penalized for their circumstances, such as situations where they do not have a school uniform or waiving fees required for extracurricular activities.

Disclosure: Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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