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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Executive Order Implementing Foster Care Report Card

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Governor Laura Kelly today signed Executive Order #20-53 establishing an annual education report card for students in foster care. The report card will track educational outcomes and collect data to give state leaders, education providers, and stakeholders a picture of where the state needs to improve when it comes to educating foster care kids in Kansas.

“This executive order is another step my administration is taking to improve outcomes for vulnerable children in the foster care system,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Education is key to a strong future workforce in Kansas. This report will help us track educational outcomes of all Kansas students in foster care – which will in turn help Kansas’ vulnerable families and make our public education system more accountable. I will continue to preserve the foster care programs that are already in place during this unprecedented pandemic. We will grow these foundational services and continue to fight on behalf of all Kansas children.”

The foster care report card will track the following:

A: The graduation rate of students in foster care at the end of each academic year;

B: The number and percentage of students in foster care who were promoted to the next grade level;

C: The number and percentage of students in foster care who were suspended during the school year, and the average number of days each student spent in suspension;

D: The number and percentage of students in foster care who were expelled during the school year;

E: State standardized assessment scores for students in foster care, including the number and percentage of students meeting academic standards as determined by the state board of education;

F: The number and percentage of students in foster care enrolled in any preschool-aged at-risk program, Kansas preschool pilot program or early childhood special education program under section 619 of part B of the individuals with disabilities act;

G: The number and percentage of students in foster care who participated in the mental health intervention team pilot program or a similar mental health program;

H: The total number of students in foster care enrolled in a school district or accredited nonpublic school and the disaggregated number and percentage of students in foster care enrolled in school districts and accredited nonpublic schools; and

I: De-identified disaggregated race and ethnicity data for each data set required in (A) through (H); and

J: Any additional data elements that both the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department for Children and Families deem appropriate for inclusion.

The executive order directs the Department for Children and Families to work with the Kansas Department of Education to accumulate the data. The report card will be published annually and presented to the House and Senate Educations committees by the Kansas Department for Children and Families by January 15 of each year.

“I commend Governor Kelly for her continued leadership and commitment to building a strong foster care system in Kansas,” Secretary of Children and Families Laura Howard said. “I have long supported the idea of a foster care report card because I believe that a child’s success in education is a predictor for their success in life. The Department for Children and Families has already engaged with the Department of Education to begin gathering data. I look forward to seeing where the data leads us so we can identify ways in which both agencies can support foster youth in meaningful ways that ensure their wellbeing.”

The foster care report card was a provision in House Bill 2510 during the 2020 Legislative session that was vetoed by Governor Kelly due to the fiscal crisis the state faces.

Please find the executive order here.

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