Federal lawmakers proposed a bill Thursday that would give social workers better access to school records in an effort to improve education for foster children, the Associated Press reports. A federal law requires social workers to get a court order to access a foster child’s school records, and it was meant to protect the child’s privacy. But advocates said the extra red tape has made it extremely difficult for social workers because foster youths change schools frequently as they move between different homes. Some end up taking the same classes over because credits are lost or don’t transfer. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said that extra red tape was a perfect example of unintended consequences of well-meaning legislation. She sponsored the bill with Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn.; Tom Marino, R-Pa.; and Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

“The consequence is that a lot of times foster workers end up operating blindly. If you can’t get your school records to travel with you, that student goes to another school and repeats course they’ve already had or immunizations they’ve already had,” said Bass, who said the group is trying to capitalize on bipartisan support for the bill…

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staff and wire services reports