HARRISBURG – The Senate unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sens. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) and Pat Browne (R-16) that would create a smoother transition to high school graduation for students who are experiencing homelessness or are in foster care.
Students experiencing homelessness or living in foster care may face additional graduation challenges because they changed schools before earning full credit or are unable to take a required course at their new school. Their new school also may not honor the credits they earned.
Impacted children may even attend multiple schools in a year, let alone during their academic careers. Senate Bill 324 would remove roadblocks they unfairly face by designating a point person to review past transcripts and provide the essential support needed to aid student graduation.
“Research shows that roughly half of students in foster or juvenile systems don’t graduate on time – if at all. Young men and women with these difficulties would be better poised to succeed in school and beyond with the passage of our bill,” Langerholc said.
“I am pleased that the Senate has passed the Fostering Graduation Success for Vulnerable Students legislation, which will help to keep our most vulnerable students on track to graduate high school,” Browne said. “This legislation provides remedies to the roadblocks that many of our students experience and puts them on a pathway towards a brighter future. I am proud to partner with Sen. Langerholc to provide this essential support to ensure all students have an opportunity to succeed in school.”
The bill would also provide students with other methods to demonstrate that their coursework has been satisfactorily completed so necessary credit can be awarded. If a student is ineligible to graduate from his or her new school, the new school may request a diploma be issued from the previous school, assuming the student met the previous school’s graduation requirements.
Senate Bill 324 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.