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Associated Press
In this photo taken Friday, July 11, 2014, Elk Grove Unified School District teacher Michael Jones and his former student Kandance Stagner, a foster child, walk around Laguna Creek High School, where Stagner recently graduated from, in Elk Grove, Calif. California, home to nearly one-fifth of the nation’s children living in foster care, is embarking on a first-of-its-kind attempt to improve the academic lives of foster youth by giving schools more money to meet their special learning and emotional needs and holding educators and administrators responsible for producing results. As part of a new school funding formula the state will direct billions of extra dollars to districts based on how many students they have with low family incomes, learning to speak English or in foster care. Six years ago, Jones, who as a high school science teacher, founded a weekly class where students in foster care could gather to discuss their shared struggles, has doubts about the proposed program saying “I’ve yet to see a (formula) that says we are going to fund people to care.” Stagner, 18, who has been in seven foster care settings since she was taken away from her mother in second grade, is preparing to attend college in Nebraska, something she attributes directly to Jones’ unwavering support and nurturing family environment he created in his classroom. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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