House Bill 3075 - Frequently Asked Questions

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed into law HB 3075-A on July 15, 2005.  The bill, drafted by attorneys Brian Baker and Angela Sherbo and law clerk Jessica Hendricks, promotes the educational stability for children in Oregon's foster care system.                   

Read the final version of HB 3075-Enrolled signed by the Governor here.

Q:  To which children does this bill apply?

A:  HB 3075 applies to children who are in the custody of the State of Oregon's Department of Human Services, who are in a substitute care placement and who attend public school.                   

Q:  What does the bill do?

A:  For a child who is placed into foster care or moved between substitute care placements and now resides in a different school district, the juvenile court can make a finding that it is in the child's best interest to remain in the same school.  HB 3075 amended the school residency statute (ORS 339.133) so that the court finding makes the child a resident of the district where they have attended school prior to placement.                   

Q:  How long does this remain in effect?

A:  With the best interests finding, the child will be considered a resident of the school district they attend and can continue to attend the school he or she attended prior to placement  through the highest grade level at that school.                   

Q:  Can a child use HB 3075 to remain in the same district when they move from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school?

A:  The law allows children to attend the same school they have previously attended through the highest grade level at that school.  At that point, students can request an inter-district transfer to attend a school in another district.                   

Q:  Does HB 3075 apply to children living with their parents?                    

A:  The new law applies only to children in substitute care (foster care).  The law does apply to children placed in foster care with relatives.  Once they leave foster care, this law does not apply.                          

Sometimes children are still technically in foster care while on a trial home visit with their parents, and the law may apply as long as those children are considered to be in foster care.                          

When children have been returned to their parents and are no longer in foster care, HB 3075 would not apply.  Parents can request an inter-district transfer for their child to continue to attend a school in a different district.                     

Q:  How will schools get paid to educate foster children who do not live in their districts?

A:  The court's best interest finding makes the child a resident of the school district they are attending, even though the child physically resides in a different district.  This means that the district and the school where the child attends will receive the state school funding for that child.

Q:  Why was this bill necessary?

A:  Existing procedures for inter-district transfers did not meet the unique needs of children in the foster care system.  Recent studies have shown that over half of foster children are likely to change schools seven or more times between kindergarten and high school.  Foster children are more likely to fall behind and experience school failure than their peers, and unnecessary school moves hamper academic progress and social development.                   

Q:  Doesn't HB 3075 also say something about transferring school records?

A:  Yes. When children in foster care change schools, districts are required to transfer records more quickly.  Districts typically have 10 school days to request school records for a new student, and the previous districts have 10 school days to send the records.  The new law changes the timelines for foster children, with 5 days to request the records and 5 days to send them.                   

Q:  Does HB 3075 do anything else?

A:  The law also amends the juvenile code and requires DHS to consider the ability of a foster home to provide school stability for the child, among other criteria, when choosing a foster placement.                   

Q:  How does HB 3075 impact children in special education?

A:  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) says that an IEP team determines the types of accommodations, modifications, supports and related services a child should receive in order to receive a free and appropriate public education.  The IEP team also agrees upon the type of educational setting, or placement, that is appropriate for the child.  The IEP team must always include a parent or qualified educational surrogate who can make educational decisions on behalf of the child.  HB 3075 does not change these requirements.