Watch Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s testimony yesterday before the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee during a hearing on Senate Bills 6223 and 6148, creating work groups to help ensure educational equity for children and youth in foster care or experiencing homelessness.

Senate Bill 6223, which Carlyle sponsored, would require state departments and agencies to work with aligned non-governmental organizations to create a plan to facilitate educational equity between children and youth in foster care and their peers in Washington’s general student population, and to close disparities between racial and ethnic groups.

The committee today approved the bill and referred it to the Senate Ways & Means Committee after adding language from Senate Bill 6148 requiring similar action with respect to children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Carlyle, who has made support for children and youth in foster care a legislative priority, said that the state needed to do better in terms of coordinating programs and policies that affect those children and youth in order to ensure accountability.

“We as a state have a public responsibility to care about parity,” he told the committee yesterday. “The fact is that youth in care, and non-youth in care or students, have the right to the same kind of infrastructure and support and systems approach.”