Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and cosponsors, Senators Charles Grassely (R-IA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Mark Begich (D-AL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Al Franken (D-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced a companion bill to the House A+Plus Act (H.R. 5871). The Uninterrupted Scholars Act (S. 3472) addresses the unintentional barriers of student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for youth in care.
The bill would allow child welfare administrators to access student records as they are required to do by the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351). It also makes records available for studies on the educational outcomes of youth in care and also eliminates duplicative notice and time delays in transferring school records. Youth in care face many obstacles to educational success, including home and school transfers that necessitate information about the students’ credits, special education supports, and other relevant achievements and challenges. School records facilitate timely educational decisions that are in the best interest of each individual child.
Senator Landrieu acknowledged on the Senate floor and at a recent Hill briefing that the problem was brought to her attention by former foster youth who were interning on the Hill this summer as part of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption’s Foster Youth Internship. In her floor statement she said, “They brought this problem—that some of their records are not accessible—to my attention. These amazing foster youth interns have asked for a common-sense change, and I’m proud to help make this happen.”