New laws provide lenience for foster youths, international students
New laws went into effect at the beginning of 2018 that provide lenience on graduation and attendance requirements for some students.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, House Bill 3267 requires school districts and public charter schools to waive any extra graduation requirements for foster youths, children from homeless families, runaways, children of military parents or migrant workers, and children enrolled in youth corrections or juvenile detention education programs, according to the 2017 OSBA/COSA Legislative Report.
The new bill amends the current law, which establishes requirements for completion of graduation. Currently, the Oregon State Board of Education requires all students to complete 24 credits to graduate from high school with a standard diploma, according to the legislative report. School districts and charter schools can add additional requirements. It is these additional requirements which the new bill requires schools to waive for the students listed above.
"Our belief is that creating a path for foster kids to be successful is a positive step," said Alex Pulaski, communications director for the Oregon School Boards Association, "and this bill does that."
Another bill, House Bill 3409, went into effect Jan. 1, providing exemption from attendance requirements for students attending school in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas, which are students who have permanent residence outside the states and are visiting the states temporarily.
Currently, Oregon Law requires students between the ages of six and 18 to attend public school regularly, with some exemptions, such as attending private school or home school. If students have eight unexcused half-day absences in a four-week period, it is considered irregular attendance. Prior to HB 3409, there was no exemption from these attendance requirements for students with nonimmigrant visas.
"Each year, students come to Oregon from other countries on nonimmigrant visas to attend an English-speaking high school to prepare for post-secondary education in the United States," the legislative report says. "There is no exemption from compulsory school attendance in current law for students on nonimmigrant visas who attend an accredited English Language Learner program in preparation for high school or college, even though it is commonly best practice for students to operate on schedules synced to their countries of origin. HB 3409 exempts these students from the compulsory school attendance requirements."