(HARRISBURG) – The House passed legislation sponsored by Sens. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) and Pat Browne (R-16) that will assist students experiencing homelessness or those who transition between foster homes to stay on track to graduate high school.
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. Senate Bill 324 will remedy these roadblocks by requiring the school to designate a point person to review the student’s past transcripts and provide the essential support needed to aid the student to graduate in a timely manner.
“Far too often students in foster or juvenile systems don’t graduate on time – if at all,” Sen. Langerholc said. “Ensuring these young men and women do not fall through the cracks will provide the resources necessary for them to graduate on-time and be in a better position for success. ”
“The path to graduation isn’t about their hard work or determination in the classroom for many of the Commonwealth’s students, but instead the insurmountable roadblocks that delay or prevent them from completing their studies altogether,” Browne said. “I am proud to partner with Sen. Langerholc in authoring this legislation. It will help to remove these barriers, allowing for more young men and women to succeed and realize their potential.”
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 heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.