State of Georgia must do better educating children in foster care

Richard L. Jackson is chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare. A former foster child, he is chairman of the board of FaithBridge Foster Care.

In this guest column, Jackson discusses the academic underperformance of children in foster care and the need for the state to address how to help these kids overcome the odds.

By Richard L. Jackson

Georgia’s graduation rate has steadily improved in recent years, and today almost 82 percent of Georgia students graduate on time – four years after they commence their high school education.

But when you look at foster children who are removed from dysfunctional families where there is neglect, abandonment or abuse –– the numbers are shocking. According to the state Department of Family and Children Services, only 18 percent of Georgia students ages 17 and 18 in foster care earned their diploma on schedule last spring. By age 19, the number rises to 33 percent…

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