The Disenfranchisement of Black Foster Youth

California public schools educate over 46,000 K-12 students in foster care. About a third of them attend Los Angeles County public schools. An analysis of 2018-2019 data from the California Department of Education shows that 43% of all Black foster youth students in California are attending public schools in LA County. Black foster youth students disproportionately experience punitive discipline and are suspended at a rate of 17% in comparison to the overall LA County rate of 2%. Black foster youth students also have the highest representation in special education at 37% as well as the largest chronic absenteeism rate at 34%. Only 51% of Black foster youth students graduated on time during the 2018-2019 school year. Black foster youth students struggled with college enrollment in 2017-2018, with zero percent enrolling into a UC and only 6% enrolling in a CSU upon high school completion. Black foster youth students attending school in LA County are being disenfranchised in their educational experiences.