Proponents of a program that links foster children with education advocates to improve their success in school want the Arizona Legislature to expand a pilot program now used just in Pima County.
The director of FosterEd: Arizona made the pitch Wednesday to a group of lawmakers at the state Capitol. Former state Rep. Pete Hershberger told several lawmakers who attended the briefing that foster children often fall far behind their peers, drop out at higher rates and often fail to graduate from high school.
Studies show that former foster children are 25 percent more likely to experience homelessness or incarceration, 33 percent get public assistance and the unemployment rate tops 50 percent.
“These and the incalculable health care costs are huge burdens to the Arizona taxpayer,” Hershberger said.