President Obama on Monday night signed into law a measure aimed at improving the education of foster children, an issue also on the radar of state officials and advocates.

The new federal law removes the barrier that a state child welfare agency get a court order for social workers to get access to a foster child’s education records. This legal hurdle, advocates say, contributes to long delays in an abused or neglected child getting the appropriate education placements and services.

A recent survey by Casey Family Services of foster children found that one-third of foster children had to repeat at least one grade and most had multiple school placements.

State legislators are considering several other changes to state law that are aimed at improving the educational outcomes for the thousands of vulnerable foster children in state custody.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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