HB 126: "An Act relating to continuing the secondary public education of a homeless student; relating to the purpose of certain laws as they relate to children; relating to tuition waivers, loans, and medical assistance for a child placed in out-of-home care by the state; relating to foster care; relating to children in need of aid; relating to foster care transition to independent living; and relating to juvenile programs and institutions."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 126 01 "An Act relating to continuing the secondary public education of a homeless student; 02 relating to the purpose of certain laws as they relate to children; relating to tuition 03 waivers, loans, and medical assistance for a child placed in out-of-home care by the 04 state; relating to foster care; relating to children in need of aid; relating to foster care 05 transition to independent living; and relating to juvenile programs and institutions." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section 1. AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to read: 08 Sec. 14.03.096. Continuing the public education of a homeless student. (a) 09 Except as provided in (b) of this section, the governing body of a school district shall 10 comply with the requirements for continuing the public education of a homeless 11 student in the student's school of origin and for providing comparable education and 12 transportation services during the homelessness under 42 U.S.C. 11431 - 11435 13 (McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2001).
01 (b) The requirements in (a) of this section do not apply if 02 (1) the student moves to a school district other than the school district 03 in which the student's school of origin is located; or 04 (2) the superintendent of the school district makes a written finding 05 that a waiver of the requirements is in the student's best academic interest and the 06 finding is mailed to the school board and to the person in charge of children's services 07 for the Department of Health and Social Services. 08 (c) If a homeless student is transferred to a school other than the student's 09 school of origin, the school of origin shall provide a copy of the student's records to 10 the student's new school within 7 school days after notification of the transfer. The 11 student's new school shall allow the student to attend school while awaiting the 12 transfer of records under this subsection. 13 (d) In this section, 14 (1) "homeless student" has the meaning given in 42 U.S.C. 11434a for 15 "homeless child or youth," and the phrase "awaiting foster care placement" in that 16 definition shall be interpreted to include all students who are placed in out-of-home 17 care and in the custody of the Department of Health and Social Services under 18 AS 47.10.080(c) or who are committed to the custody of the Department of Health and 19 Social Services under AS 47.12.120(b)(1) or (3); 20 (2) "school of origin" means the school that the student attended when 21 permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled. 22 * Sec. 2. AS 14.43 is amended by adding a new section to read: 23 Article 3A. Free Tuition for a Person Who Was in Out-of-Home Care. 24 Sec. 14.43.086. Free tuition and fees for a person who was in out-of-home 25 care. (a) A person who enrolls as a student in good standing in a state-supported 26 educational institution in the state is entitled to a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and 27 board expenses if the person provides adequate proof that the person 28 (1) was in the custody of the state under AS 47.10 or AS 47.14; 29 (2) was placed in out-of-home care for a period of not less than six 30 consecutive months on or after the person became 16 years of age; 31 (3) has applied for educational loans, grants, or scholarships that the
01 person is otherwise eligible for as recommended by the educational institution; and 02 (4) is under 29 years of age. 03 (b) The educational institution may require an eligible recipient to apply for a 04 loan under AS 14.43.112. 05 (c) The proceeds of an education loan, including a loan under AS 14.43.112, 06 grant, or scholarship received by a person eligible for a waiver under this section must 07 be paid to the educational institution to offset the person's tuition, fees, and room and 08 board expenses. 09 * Sec. 3. AS 14.43 is amended by adding a new section to read: 10 Sec. 14.43.112. Education loans for a child who was in out-of-home care. 11 (a) The commission may, subject to the loan conditions under AS 14.43.120 and the 12 eligibility requirements under AS 14.43.125, make a loan in a school year to a person 13 who is eligible for a tuition waiver under AS 14.43.086 to offset the person's tuition, 14 fees, and room and board expenses as provided under that section. Notwithstanding 15 the limits under AS 14.43.120(d), a loan made under this section may not exceed 16 $4,000 annually for a full-time undergraduate or graduate student or $2,000 annually 17 for a half-time undergraduate or graduate student attending a state-supported 18 educational institution in the state. 19 (b) The commission may not require repayment of or assess interest on a loan 20 made under this section before six months after the completion of the program for 21 which the loan was paid unless the borrower fails to complete the program in five 22 years. 23 * Sec. 4. AS 14.43.160 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 24 (7) "out-of-home care" means care and shelter provided by a foster 25 parent or relative other than a parent with whom a child is placed by the Department 26 of Health and Social Services. 27 * Sec. 5. AS 47.05.060 is amended to read: 28 Sec. 47.05.060. Purpose and policy relating to children. The purpose of this 29 title as it relates to children is to secure for each child the care and guidance, 30 preferably in the child's own home, as well as an adequate education, that will serve 31 the moral, emotional, mental, intellectual, and physical welfare of the child and the
01 best interests of the community; to preserve and strengthen the child's family ties 02 unless efforts to preserve and strengthen the ties are likely to result in physical or 03 emotional damage to the child, removing the child from the custody of the parents 04 only as a last resort when the child's welfare or safety or the protection of the public 05 cannot be adequately safeguarded without removal; and, when the child is removed 06 from the family, to secure for the child adequate custody, education, and care and 07 adequate planning for permanent placement of the child. 08 * Sec. 6. AS 47.05.065 is amended to read: 09 Sec. 47.05.065. Legislative findings related to children. The legislature finds 10 that 11 (1) parents have the following rights and responsibilities relating to the 12 care and control of their child while the child is a minor: 13 (A) the responsibility to provide the child with food, clothing, 14 shelter, education, and medical care; 15 (B) the right and responsibility to protect, nurture, train, and 16 discipline the child, including the right to direct the child's medical care and 17 the right to exercise reasonable corporal discipline; 18 (C) the right to determine where and with whom the child shall 19 live; 20 (D) the right and responsibility to make decisions of legal or 21 financial significance concerning the child; 22 (E) the right to obtain representation for the child in legal 23 actions; and 24 (F) the responsibility to provide special safeguards and care, 25 including appropriate prenatal and postnatal protection for the child; 26 (2) it is the policy of the state to strengthen families and to protect 27 children from child abuse and neglect; the state recognizes that, in some cases, 28 protection of a child may require removal of the child from the child's home; however, 29 (A) except in those cases involving serious risk to a child's 30 health or safety, the Department of Health and Social Services should provide 31 time-limited family support services to the child and the child's family in order
01 to offer parents the opportunity to remedy parental conduct or conditions in the 02 home that placed the child at risk of harm so that a child may return home 03 safely and permanently; and 04 (B) the state also recognizes that when a child is removed from 05 the home, visitation between the child and the child's parents or guardian and 06 family members reduces the trauma for the child and enhances the likelihood 07 that the child will be able to return home; therefore, whenever a child is 08 removed from the parental home, the Department of Health and Social 09 Services should encourage frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation of the 10 child with the child's parent or guardian and family members; 11 (3) it is the policy of the state to recognize that, when a child is a ward 12 of the state, the child is entitled to reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate 13 treatment and that the Department of Health and Social Services as legal custodian and 14 the child's guardian ad litem as guardian of the child's best interests and their agents 15 and assignees, each should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the child is provided 16 with reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate treatment for the duration of time 17 that the child is a ward of the state; 18 (4) it is in the best interests of a child who has been removed from the 19 child's own home for the state to apply the following principles in resolving the 20 situation: 21 (A) the child should be placed in a safe, secure, and stable 22 environment; 23 (B) the child should not be moved unnecessarily; 24 (C) a planning process should be followed to lead to permanent 25 placement of the child; 26 (D) every effort should be made to encourage psychological 27 attachment between the adult caregiver and the child; 28 (E) frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation with the parent 29 or guardian and family members should be encouraged; [AND] 30 (F) parents and guardians must actively participate in family 31 support services so as to facilitate the child's being able to remain in the home;
01 when children are removed from the home, the parents and guardians must 02 actively participate in family support services to make return of their children 03 to the home possible; and 04 (G) the child should continue to attend the child's school of 05 origin as provided under AS 14.03.096; 06 (5) numerous studies establish that 07 (A) children undergo a critical attachment process before the 08 time they reach six years of age; 09 (B) a child who has not attached with an adult caregiver during 10 this critical stage will suffer significant emotional damage that frequently leads 11 to chronic psychological problems and antisocial behavior when the child 12 reaches adolescence and adulthood; and 13 (C) it is important to provide for an expedited placement 14 procedure to ensure that all children, especially those under the age of six 15 years, who have been removed from their homes are placed in permanent 16 homes expeditiously. 17 * Sec. 7. AS 47.07.020(b) is amended to read: 18 (b) In addition to the persons specified in (a) of this section, the following 19 optional groups of persons for whom the state may claim federal financial 20 participation are eligible for medical assistance: 21 (1) persons eligible for but not receiving assistance under any plan of 22 the state approved under 42 U.S.C. 1381 - 1383c (Title XVI, Social Security Act, 23 Supplemental Security Income) or a federal program designated as the successor to the 24 aid to families with dependent children program; 25 (2) persons in a general hospital, skilled nursing facility, or 26 intermediate care facility, who, if they left the facility, would be eligible for assistance 27 under one of the federal programs specified in (1) of this subsection; 28 (3) persons under 21 years of age who are under supervision of the 29 department, for whom maintenance is being paid in whole or in part from public 30 funds, and who are in out-of-home care [FOSTER HOMES] or private child-care 31 institutions;
01 (4) aged, blind, or disabled persons, who, because they do not meet 02 income and resources requirements, do not receive supplemental security income 03 under 42 U.S.C. 1381 - 1383c (Title XVI, Social Security Act), and who do not 04 receive a mandatory state supplement, but who are eligible, or would be eligible if 05 they were not in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility to receive an 06 optional state supplementary payment; 07 (5) persons under 21 years of age who are in an institution designated 08 as an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded and who are financially 09 eligible as determined by the standards of the federal program designated as the 10 successor to the aid to families with dependent children program; 11 (6) persons in a medical or intermediate care facility whose income 12 while in the facility does not exceed $1,656 a month but who would not be eligible for 13 an optional state supplementary payment if they left the hospital or other facility; 14 (7) persons under 21 years of age who are receiving active treatment in 15 a psychiatric hospital and who are financially eligible as determined by the standards 16 of the federal program designated as the successor to the aid to families with 17 dependent children program; 18 (8) persons under 21 years of age and not covered under (a) of this 19 section [,] who would be eligible for benefits under the federal program designated as 20 the successor to the aid to families with dependent children program, except that they 21 have the care and support of both their natural and adoptive parents; 22 (9) pregnant women not covered under (a) of this section and who 23 meet the income and resource requirements of the federal program designated as the 24 successor to the aid to families with dependent children program; 25 (10) persons under 21 years of age not covered under (a) of this section 26 who the department has determined cannot be placed for adoption without medical 27 assistance because of a special need for medical or rehabilitative care and who the 28 department has determined are hard-to-place children eligible for subsidy under 29 AS 25.23.190 - 25.23.210; 30 (11) persons who can be considered under 42 U.S.C. 1396a(e)(3) (Title 31 XIX, Social Security Act, Medical Assistance) to be individuals with respect to whom
01 a supplemental security income is being paid under 42 U.S.C. 1381 - 1383c (Title 02 XVI, Social Security Act) because they meet all of the following criteria: 03 (A) they are 18 years of age or younger and qualify as disabled 04 individuals under 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a) (Title XVI, Social Security Act); 05 (B) the department has determined that 06 (i) they require a level of care provided in a hospital, 07 nursing facility, or intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded; 08 (ii) it is appropriate to provide their care outside of an 09 institution; and 10 (iii) the estimated amount that would be spent for 11 medical assistance for their individual care outside an institution is not 12 greater than the estimated amount that would otherwise be expended 13 individually for medical assistance within an appropriate institution; 14 (C) if they were in a medical institution, they would be eligible 15 for medical assistance under other provisions of this chapter; and 16 (D) home and community-based services under a waiver 17 approved by the federal government are either not available to them under this 18 chapter or would be inappropriate for them; 19 (12) disabled persons, as described in 42 U.S.C. 20 1396a(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XIII), who are in families whose income, as determined under 21 applicable federal regulations or guidelines, is less than 250 percent of the official 22 poverty line applicable to a family of that size according to the United States 23 Department of Health and Human Services, and who, but for earnings in excess of the 24 limit established under 42 U.S.C. 1396d(q)(2)(B), would be considered to be 25 individuals with respect to whom a supplemental security income is being paid under 26 42 U.S.C. 1381 - 1383c; a person eligible for assistance under this paragraph who is 27 not eligible under another provision of this section shall pay a premium or other cost- 28 sharing charges according to a sliding fee scale that is based on income as established 29 by the department in regulations; 30 (13) persons under 19 years of age who are not covered under (a) of 31 this section and whose household income does not exceed 175 percent of the federal
01 poverty line as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human 02 Services and revised under 42 U.S.C. 9902(2); 03 (14) pregnant women who are not covered under (a) of this section and 04 whose household income does not exceed 175 percent of the federal poverty line as 05 defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and revised 06 under 42 U.S.C. 9902(2); 07 (15) persons who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer 08 and who are eligible for coverage under 42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XVIII); 09 (16) persons under 21 years of age who were in the custody of the 10 department under AS 47.10 or AS 47.14 and who were placed in out-of-home 11 care for a period of not less than six consecutive months on or after reaching 16 12 years of age. 13 * Sec. 8. AS 47.10.080 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 14 (v) A social worker employed by the department shall, not less than monthly, 15 conduct visits with a child committed to the custody of the department under (c) of 16 this section. The visits must be of sufficient substance and duration to address issues 17 pertinent to case planning and service delivery to ensure the child's safety, 18 permanency, and well-being. The majority of the visits conducted under this 19 subsection must be at the location of the child's current placement. In this subsection, 20 "visit" means face-to-face contact between social worker and child. 21 * Sec. 9. AS 47.10.990(3) is amended to read: 22 (3) "child" means a person who is 23 (A) under 18 years of age; 24 (B) [AND A PERSON] 19 years of age if that person was 25 under 18 years of age at the time that a proceeding under this chapter was 26 commenced; and 27 (C) under 21 years of age if that person is living in out-of- 28 home care; 29 * Sec. 10. AS 47.10.990 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 30 (33) "out-of-home care" means care and shelter provided by a foster 31 parent or relative other than a parent with whom the child is placed by the department.
01 * Sec. 11. AS 47.14.990 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read: 02 (13) "child" means a person under 18 years of age and a person under 03 21 years of age if the person is living in out-of-home care; 04 (14) "out-of-home care" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990. 05 * Sec. 12. AS 47.18.310 is amended to read: 06 Sec. 47.18.310. Program design. The department, in coordination with local 07 public and private agencies, shall design the program as a continuation of the training 08 efforts related to independent living skills that were initiated when the state foster care 09 recipients were identified as being likely to remain in state foster care until reaching 10 21 years of age [THE AGE OF 18]. The program design must require that program 11 participants are directly involved in identifying the program activities that will prepare 12 them for independent living. 13 * Sec. 13. AS 47.18 is amended by adding a new section to read: 14 Sec. 47.18.335. Monetary stipend. The department shall provide to an 15 individual receiving services under the program a monthly stipend in an amount set by 16 the department that is equivalent to the daily rate provided to a licensed foster parent 17 for housing expenses. The stipend shall continue for a period of not less than six 18 months and not more than one year after the individual leaves foster care. The 19 department may adopt regulations to implement this section.