Annie Lee

  • Hosted by National Center for Youth Law
  • Sponsored by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Oracle Corporation
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Annie improved the educational outcomes of California foster youth by ensuring effective implementation of the landmark foster youth education provisions of Assembly Bill 97 (Local Control Funding Formula or LCFF) through legal and policy advocacy.

In California, more than 57,000 children are in foster care. Given the abuse or neglect that resulted in their removal from their parents and the additional trauma from instability in the child welfare system, foster youth face academic challenges. Even when compared with similarly economically disadvantaged students, foster youth are less likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college, or remain in college. In 2013, California passed the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and became the first state in the country to hold school districts accountable for the educational outcomes of foster youth. LCFF implementation at the state and local levels presents unprecedented opportunity to close the foster youth achievement gap.

Fellowship Highlights

During Annie’s Fellowship, Annie plans to:

  • Developed model AB 97 regulations to share with policymakers
  • Continue collaboration with foster youth advocates regarding upcoming AB 97 regulations
  • Improved and update the foster youth education plans of individual school districts
  • Assisted school districts in implementing actions and services to improve foster youth educational outcomes
  • Begin pro bono projects with Fellowship sponsors
  • Continue direct representation of students

Next Steps

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Annie continues to fight for vulnerable students as a Staff Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights in San Francisco (OCR in San Francisco). At OCR in San Francisco, Annie protects students from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age.  One of the highlights of her work has been serving as lead attorney on a large case regarding a school district’s use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities. Additionally, in 2019, Annie was one of twenty people from across the nation selected to participate in Pathways to Leadership, a year-long leadership development program for aspiring leaders in the U.S. Department of Education.

Meet Other Fellows Like Annie

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Katherine Burdick

Host: Juvenile Law Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Alaina Moonves-Leb

Host: Alliance for Children's Rights

Sponsor: Edison International, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Rachel Judd

Host: Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Ashley C. Grant

Host: Advocates for Children of New York

Sponsor: Arnold & Porter LLP