Office of Education


Foster Care Education

"18,927. That's how many Arizona children, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in the foster care system. We have to stand up for these kids. "

 Governor Doug Ducey, January 2016 

June 2016

Fostering Academic Success for All
By Karla Phillips and Jesse Hahnel
June 21, 2016

“We have a unique moral and legal obligation to ensure students in foster care receive the educational opportunities they need to thrive in school, and in life,” said Jesse Hahnel,National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) Executive Director. “We are committed to helping state education agencies effectively implement the foster youth provisions of ESSA.”

This year Congress replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Few would deny that the greatest virtue of NCLB was the requirement to disaggregate student achievement data by subgroup; thus, shining an overdue spotlight on the achievement gap that remains pervasive in most of our country’s schools. (Click here to continue reading...)

February 2016

FosterEd is an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law aimed at improving the educational ex-perience and outcomes of foster youth. It is guided by a framework that all foster youth should have an Educational Champion who can support the student’s long-term education success, and an Edu-cation Team of engaged adults, including the Educational Champion, caregivers, teachers, social workers and the youth, who develop and support an individualized Education Case Plan based on an assessment of the student’s educational strengths and needs. (Click here to continue reading...)

February 2016

Prioritizing Foster Education

The Governor's Office of Education partnered with the Arizona Charter Schools Association and the Arizona School Boards Association to host a webinar on efforts to prioritize educational opportunities for foster care children on February 23, 2016 from 11 am to 12 pm. The webinar included presentations from the Arizona Community Foundation and WestEd on the invisible achievement gap, an update on the Elementary and Secondary Support Act (ESSA) as it relates to foster care children, and efforts this session to assist our foster care students from FosterEd and Rep. John Allen.

Governor Ducey has made improving foster care education a priority in his administration. To view his 2016 State of the State Address, click here.

Webinar Materials:

To download the presentation from the webinar, please click here.

To view a recording of the webinar, please click here. Please note that this will take you to a registration page. You must register to view the webinar. 

February 2016

Arizona's Invisible Achievement Gap: Education Outcomes of Students in Foster Care in the State's Public Schools
By Vanessa Barrat, BethAnn Berliner. and Natalie Felida

One of the most vexing problems for Arizona, a state that is committed to providing high-quality public education for all students, has been the persistently low academic achievement of racial/ethnic minority students, English language learners, students raised in poverty, and students with disabilities. For many years, closing these achievement gaps has been a priority. Yet, until recently, reform efforts have rarely acknowledged another group of students who also persistently underperform: students in foster care.

As is the case for many other states, Arizona has had little statewide information about the education of school-aged children and youth who are in the child welfare system and for whom the state is legally responsible. This is largely due to challenges related to the availability, collection, and sharing of information about these students across the education and child welfare systems, which do not have a common unique student identifier for students who are in both systems. As a result, the education needs of these students have often gone unrecognized and unmet—leaving many of them trailing their classmates in academic achievement. It is this achievement gap that has been largely invisible to educators and child welfare professionals alike. (Click here to continue reading...)

January 2015

In January 2013, NCYL contracted with RTI International to conduct an external evaluation of the Pima County FosterEd pilot which is expected to run through December 2015. RTI has approached this study from a Developmental Evaluation framework, allowing for greater flexibility when analyzing initiatives or innovations that tend to continuously develop and evolve. Furthermore, Developmental Evaluation is distinct from more traditional evaluative approaches in that the evaluators actively participate in the partnership and are expected to support ongoing program improvement by helping program leaders put to use data emerging from the evaluation. (Click here to continue reading...)


HB 2665


Foster-Ed Arizona