Legislation will help level the educational playing field for foster kids and their intellectual, social growth

State Rep. Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe) delivers a speech on her bill on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing.

EASTPOINTE, Mich., Nov. 14, 2023 — The Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 4678, sponsored by state Rep. Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe). The bill requires that the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) regularly review any educational program provided in a child caring institution to ensure that it complies with the rules and provisions outlined in state law.

“Kids in foster care already face significant challenges. When it comes to their education, they deserve the same high-quality schooling that all children in Michigan should have access to,” Edwards said. “My bill will help ensure these vulnerable students receive an education in line with the standards and expectations for all Michigan kids.”

HB 4678 and HBs 4676 and 4677, both sponsored by state Rep. Stephanie Young (D-Detroit), form a package designed to promote better educational outcomes and opportunities for children in Michigan’s foster care system. HB 4676 requires children in foster care receive an education that prioritizes meeting the graduation requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum content standards. It will also give these students the ability to receive educational records to the same extent as students who are not in foster care. HB 4677 requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with MDE, to provide an annual report on educational achievements in the foster care system.

“A good education is the foundation for a strong future, and we cannot leave kids in foster care behind. These students deserve every opportunity for success. With this package, we are lifting up students in the foster care system, setting them up for greater achievement down the road,” Edwards said.

HB 4678 now heads to the state Senate for consideration.