EDUCATION WATCH BLOG
July 15, 2015
An amendment co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe would track the graduation rates of homeless and foster care students, while the bill it is attached to would replace the controversial No Child Left Behind Act.
Inhofe, the lead Republican co-sponsor of the amendment introduced by Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., said the measure added this week will help states, school districts and parents get the information needed to ensure homeless and foster care students are successful. Inhofe is the senior Oklahoma senator.
The data would be included on state and district report cards.
The amendment passed, 56-40, on Tuesday.
“Those in foster care and homeless youth are some of the most overlooked students in our nation’s education system,” Inhofe said in a press release. “Due to the lack of a consistent, stable family unit at home, these children are often navigating the education system without adult guidance or support.”
The amendment is included in the Every Child Achieves Act, which would replace No Child Left Behind.
Staff members with Inhofe’s office said the proposed act already has provisions to track test scores of homeless and foster care students, but did not include graduation rates prior to the amendment.
Homeless students and foster care students face several challenges in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma had a record high 25,114 homeless students in 2013-2014, according to the state Department of Education. Most lived in tenuous circumstances with friends or family members who are not their parents.
The amendment process is still ongoing and should be finished Thursday, staffers said.
Both the House and Senate are working on their own versions of a No Child Left Behind replacement bill.
The Senate version intends to give states more control in developing school accountability measures while ensuring they still meet federal guidelines, such as tracking the academic performance of minority students.