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Youth Re-entry Education Task Force

This task force, initiated by the governor of Delaware in 2014, was organized with the goal of improving reentry to education for juvenile justice youth transitioning out of secure placements.  Thus far, the task force has successfully advocated for two major regulatory developments to support these youth: first, 14 DE Admin. Code 505 was amended to address graduation requirements for juvenile justice youth.  Under the amended code, youth who have spent time in juvenile justice facilities need only to meet the state minimum requirements for graduation, rather than those specific to their school, which are often more stringent than the state requirements.  In addition, this provision requires schools to review students’ transcripts for credits earned through distance learning, in other districts that use different standards for awarding credits, completed while in mental health or rehabilitative facilities, and any other means approved by the school administration. 

Second, as a result of the task force’s work, 14 DE Admin. Code 616 will be amended to specifically allow time spent in a detention facility to count towards the time period for expulsions.  Prior to this amendment, youth who were expelled and then placed in a detention facility were unable to return to their schools after release from detention because the time period for expulsion did not begin to run until after their release.  Under the new code, the amount of school days served while in detention are counted towards the time for expulsion.  The task force is currently working to create a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families, the Department of Education, and Local Educational Agencies to develop and implement system-level strategies to remove barriers to educational reentry for youth transitioning out of detention.