A lot of times, young people in the foster care system are moved around a lot, switch schools and have trouble graduating on time. There is a law, commonly called “AB 167”, that is meant to fix that problem.

The law says: if foster youth are moved when they are in the 11th or 12th grade and that results in changing schools, then the new school must review the student’s progress towards graduation. If the student cannot graduate on time because they cannot “reasonably complete” all the required credits, then the student and their education rights holder have the right to request that the student graduate under AB 167.

This means the student only has to meet state requirements instead of school district graduation requirements. However, the student still has to pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and pass specific classes required by the State of California.

AB 167/216 STATE GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
English (30 credits)*
Math (20 credits)
• Algebra 1 / Mathematics 1 (10 credits)
• Other Math (10 credits)
Science (20 credits)
• Biological Science (10 credits)
• Physical Science (10 credits)
Social Studies (30 credits)
• World History (10 credits)
• US History (10 credits)
• American Government/Civics (5 credits)
• Economics (5 credits)
Visual or Performing Arts, Foreign Language, or Career Technical Education (10 credits)
Physical Education (20 credits)
Electives (0 credits)
TOTAL: 130 Credits
*Although the law references year long courses, we have included the number of credits required to complete the necessary number of year long courses here in acknowledgment that foster youth often must piece together partial credits from multiple courses to meet these requirements.

As a young adult in foster care, you have a whole range of education rights, particularly in high school. Your Education Rights Holder can help you enforce them.

Know your rights: Education Rights for Foster Youth (PDF).

The Alliance for Children’s Rights can help you. Email youth@kids-alliance.org or call 213.368.6010 to get started.

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