• What is AB 490?

    Assembly Bill 490 refers to California legislation that addresses many of the barriers to equal educational opportunity for foster children and youth. Alvord Unified School District provides stability and educational opportunities in the best interest of each child in foster care.

    Provisions in AB 490:

    • Educational Equity: Educational placements for foster children must ensure that they have access to academic resources, services, enrichment and extracurricular activities available to all other students.

    • Basis for Placement: In all instances, educational placement decisions for foster children must be based on the best interests of the child and must ensure that the child is placed in the least restrictive educational program that can serve her needs. 

    • School of origin: If a foster child’s placement changes, the child has the right to remain in her school of origin for the duration of the school year.

    • Immediate enrollment: When a foster child changes schools, her new school must immediately enroll her, even if she is missing things that are usually required for enrollment (e.g. academic and medical records, immunization records, proof of residency, a school uniform) or if she owes fees or materials to her prior school. 

    • Preference for mainstream school: Foster children must attend a regular, mainstream school unless: 1) they have an IEP requiring a different educational placement, 2) the person who holds the right to make educational decisions for the child determines it is in the child’s best interest to attend a different educational program, or 3) the person with educational rights and the child decide that it is in the child’s best interests to remain in her school of origin for the remainder of the school year. 

    • Timely transfer of records: County placing agencies and school districts must work together to transfer records in a timely manner. As soon as the youth’s case worker or probation officer becomes aware of the need to transfer a student to a new school, he or she must notify the school of the last day of attendance, request calculation of student’s educational information, and request that the student be transferred. 

    • The school the student is transferring to must request the student’s records from the old school within 2 business days of the student’s enrollment. All required records shall be provided to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended. 

    • Protection for grades: A foster child’s grades cannot be lowered due to absences caused by a change in her placement or her attendance at a court hearing or court- ordered activity. 

    • Partial credits: Schools must award all students credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed at another public school, a juvenile court school, or a non- public, non-sectarian school. 

490 a
490 2
490 3