FACES is working in coalition with Voices for Virginia's Children and the Virginia Poverty Law Center to get two kinship bills passed through this General Assembly session.
The bill which will be the MOST difficult to pass this session is a bill to mandate that school districts allow kinship caregivers to enroll the children living with them to receive their free public education in the district where the relative lives. This bill has strong opposition from a number of school districts who fear it will increase opportunities for "school shopping". This bill is needed, because in many Virginia school districts the relative is required to take legal custody of the child in order to enroll the child in their school district or pay out of district tuition.
Assuming legal custody can impact the stability and relationship of the family; cause children to remain in the relative's home longer than necessary; and delay school enrollments. We believe that all children are entitled to a free public education regardless of where they are living. Please help us find relatives who have struggled with this issue.
We are looking for relative families to speak up in favor of Senator Barker's Senate Bill 217 and are willing to tell their story. Our biggest opposition on this bill is from the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia area surrounding DC, and Hanover areas.
We need families raising relatives children who have struggled with school enrollment to come out in support of this legislation on Monday, January 30! This is a subcommittee, if the bill cannot get out of subcommittee on Monday, it dies. The subcommittee meets a 1/2 hour after adjournment on the 3rd floor of the General Assembly Building in the West Conference Room. Parking is very tough during session, so be prepared for this. We do not know when the Senate will adjourn on this day, so we are sorry we can't give you an exact time for the subcommittee meeting.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER TO ANY RELATIVES YOU KNOW WHO ARE RAISING CHILDREN AND MAY HAVE HAD DIFFICULTIES AROUND SCHOOL ENROLLMENT.
EMAIL FACES AT firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us that you can and will testify on behalf of this important legislation. Or call us at 877-823-2237 to let us know. We will provide you with details and a fact sheet to help you prepare for the committee meeting.
In the meantime, if any of the following legislators are in your district, please ask them to support Senate Bill 217 and allow every child the chance for a free public education, even if they are living with a relative on a full-time basis.
Subcommittee members are:
Senators Blevins, Howell, Locke, Black, and Carrico.
The FACES' website has an Advocacy page which will allow you to locate contact information for your Senator and send an email to your Senator.
PLEASE HELP US HELP FAMILIES!
WE WILL BE FORWARDING MORE LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION REGARDING BILLS IN PROCESS, SO STAY TUNED!
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