AUGUSTA — A proposal designed to improve high school graduation rates in Maine for students who are homeless or in foster care has received the approval of a legislative committee.

Maine’s overall graduation rate in 2018 was a little less than 87%, but the rate for homeless youths was less than 58%, Maine Children’s Alliance data say. The graduation rate for youths in foster case was even less at 56%.

State Sen. Nate Libby of Lewiston has proposed a bill that would require schools to support students who are experiencing unstable housing, Maine Democrats said. The Democrats said the schools would be able to help the students enroll in courses they most need to graduate. Schools could also apply for a state diploma for students, Democrats said.

The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee approved of the proposal on Feb. 19. It now moves on to the Maine Legislature.

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