rates. 93 Maryland intends to include foster care involvement as a subgroup along with other
subgroups like race and gender. 94 However, Maryland states that this data will not be included in
their accountability system, which is a tool used by the Maryland State Department of Education
to collect, analyze, and report data on students to track achievement and provide targeted
services. 95 The failure to include this data in the accountability system could mean the Maryland
State Department of Education will not analyze data on foster children’s academic progress in the
same manner that other student’s data is analyzed. Potentially this could lead to a lack of attention
to necessary improvements and allocation of resources for education of foster youth.
Maryland’s state laws and regulations comply in large part with the FCA and ESSA.
However, several areas still require improvement to come into full compliance with these laws.
First and foremost, the “awaiting foster care placement” language from the McKinney-Vento Act
needs to be removed from Maryland’s equivalent statute and regulations as well as from the
statutes and regulations implementing the FCA. 96 ESSA is in effect as of December 2016, and its
provisions cover youth awaiting foster care placement wishing to continue attending their school
of origin, which needs to be reflected in Maryland law. Also, Maryland needs to clearly designate
state education and state child welfare Points of Contact. If applicable, Maryland should also
provide local education agency POCs that are separate from the POCs required under the
McKinney-Vento Act for homeless youth. Currently, the Fostering Connections Liaison is not
sufficient nor permitted to also serve as a POC under ESSA.97 In addition, to fully comply with
the requirements of ESSA, Maryland needs to establish a uniform policy to arrange and fund
transportation to support foster youth who remain in their current school that may not be in the
school district where their foster care placement is located. 98 Another way that Maryland could
comply with ESSA is to establish a statewide procedure specifically for interagency collaboration
to make determinations on educational stability and to efficiently meet the decided goal. For
example, requiring a meeting be held when there is a question of school placement for a foster
youth to include representatives from the relevant education agency, child welfare agency, and any
other stakeholders involved with advocating for the foster youth, like the child’s attorney and Court
Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) 99 volunteer. 100 In December 2017 Maryland’s Department
of Human Services issued a policy directive updating the educational stability policies in
accordance with ESSA; however, more needs to be done to ensure that these directives are actually
consistently practiced in the various jurisdictions across the state. 101
V. CRITICAL RACE THEORY ANALYSIS OF MARYLAND’S CURRENT AND FUTURE
IMPLEMENTATION OF FCA AND ESSA
95 Id.; See also Accountability, MD. ST. DEP’T OF EDUC.,
96 See MD. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 7-101 (2017); see also MD. CODE REGS. 13A.08.07.06 (2017).
97 MD. CODE REGS. 13A.08.07.06 (2017); see also Every Student Succeeds Act, supra note 56.
98 MD. DEP’T OF HUM. RES., SSA-CW NO. 18-8, POLICY DIRECTIVE ON EDUCATIONAL STABILITY (Dec. 7, 2017).
99 CASA volunteers are appointed by Judges to represent the best interest of children who are before the court due to
allegations of child abuse or neglect. See generally CASA,
visited Feb. 2018).