A.B. 723 - Stability for Foster Students with Exceptional Needs


Signed into law on October 13, 2023, Assembly Bill 723 (“A.B. 723”), also known as the Foster Youth Education Rights Act, expands the definition of “school of origin” for youth in foster care to include placement in a nonpublic, nonsectarian school (“NPS”). The new law amends Sections 48853.5, 56366.1, and 56366.10 of the Education Code and aims to provide educational stability for foster children by mitigating educational disruptions they may historically have experienced.

Why was A.B. 723 was enacted?

Prior to the enactment of A.B. 723, the law required a local educational agency (“LEA”) serving a foster child to allow the child to remain in his/her/their school of origin upon the initial detention or placement, any subsequent change in placement, the termination of the court’s jurisdiction, or pending resolution of a dispute regarding school of origin placement.  “School of origin” was defined as the school that the foster student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the foster student was last enrolled.

Prior law was unclear as to whether “school of origin” included NPSes.  This ambiguity caused some confusion as to whether a NPS should be considered the “school of origin” for a student in foster care whose placement changed.  Some school districts enacted policies that carved out NPSes from the definition of “school of origin” for purposes of school enrollment.

The law redefines the term “school of origin” and imposes new requirements on nonpublic, nonsectarian schools:

A.B. 723 creates stability for foster students by redefining “school of origin,” specifically for students with exceptional needs.  In particular, A.B. 723 does the following:

1) Defines “school of origin,” to include placement in a NPS, subject to existing special education law, for purposes of the following rights:

a) The right to remain in the school of origin at the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement, for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court;

b) For students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, inclusive, the right to remain in the school of origin through the end of the duration of the academic year if the jurisdiction of the court is terminated before the end of an academic year; and

c) The right to remain in the school of origin through graduation if the jurisdiction of the court is terminated while a foster child is in high school.

2) Commencing with the 2024-25 school year, NPSes seeking state certification must file an application with the Superintendent of Public Instruction that includes assurances that for any student served by the school who is a foster child, the school agrees to both serve as the school of origin of the foster child and allow the foster child to continue their education in the school, as applicable under Education Code section 48853.5.  In addition to the application requirements, all NPSes providing special education and related services to an individual with exceptional needs must certify in writing that they meet these new requirements.

A.B. 723 also incorporates changes in the law since the enactment of A.B. 373.  Prior to A.B. 373, homeless and foster youth were only offered first priority for enrollment in after-school programs. (A.B. 1567; Education Code § 8483).  Now, this right of first priority includes intersession programs such as summer school, including credit recovery classes.  The law further provides that if a foster student or homeless youth will be moving during an intersession period, the student’s educational rights holder shall determine which school the student attends for the intersession period.


Neither A.B. 723 nor A.B. 373 create new requirements for transportation.  LEAs remain responsible for transportation if a student’s individualized education plan outlines transportation as a related service.

Please do not hesitate to contact the authors of this Alert or your usual AALRR attorney with any questions about your obligations under these new laws.

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. AALRR is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

© 2023 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo 



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