‘A pretty untenable plan’: As LAUSD moves to combine 5 student support programs into one, advocates fear ‘dilution’ of foster youth services

The Foster Youth Achievement Program has changed Skye Carbajal’s life. So the foster student left school early one day in late April to tell the L.A. Unified school board just that.

Standing at the podium during an April 23 meeting, Carbajal recounted her accomplishments since she’d joined the program two years ago: She’s attended a foster youth summit in Sacramento. Honed networking skills. Won a $20,000 scholarship for college.

“Without [my counselor], I would be without guidance,” Carbajal, who is heading into her senior year at San Pedro High School, told the board. “Without [my counselor], a year ago I would not have been able to talk to you today. I wouldn’t have the confidence to.”

Now, the five-year-old program, which focuses on foster youth school attendance, educational achievement and social-emotional well-being, is being restructured, despite vigorous opposition from foster youth advocates. The district is combining five specialized student programs together — including the Foster Youth Achievement Program and the Homeless Education Program — which officials say will streamline counseling services for L.A. Unified’s highest-need pupils by placing counselors at specific school sites, cutting down on travel time typically spent driving to schools across the district. Click here to read more: http://laschoolreport.com/a-pretty-untenable-plan-as-lausd-moves-to-combine-5-student-support-programs-into-one-advocates-fear-dilution-of-foster-youth-services/