ESSA requires every state educational agency to collaborate with the state child welfare agency to ensure the educational stability of students in foster care, including assurances that they remain in their school of origin when determined to be in their best interest.

ESSA also provides a path for allocating responsibility for providing transportation for students in foster care to remain in their school of origin. ESSA requires LEAs receiving Title I, Part A funds to collaborate with child welfare agencies to develop written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in their school of origin will be provided, arranged, and funded. Those procedures must ensure that:

  • Students in foster care needing transportation will receive it promptly, in a cost-effective manner, and in accordance with the state ability to use Title IV-E (foster care) funds.

  • If there are no additional costs incurred in providing school of origin transportation for students in foster care, the LEA should provide the transportation.

  • If there are additional costs incurred, the LEA must provide transportation only if:

    • the local child welfare agency agrees to reimburse the costs;

    • the LEA agrees to pay the costs; or

    • the LEA and child welfare agency agree to share the cost

Also see School Stability, Best Interest Determination (BID) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) pages.

School of Origin Transportation for Youth in Foster Care

Strategies and tips from the CA Foster Youth Education Task Force November 2021

Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care: Transportation Procedures

U.S. Department of Education & Department of Health and Human Services 2016

Sample Transportation MOUs

Sample Transportation Protocols

ACL 11-51 (September 23, 2011)

The Fostering Connections To Success And Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351) Education Travel Reimbursement