Demand for recovery schools on the rise
- More students are interested in recovery schools that offer addiction support groups and other services alongside traditional academics, but the number of schools to serve them has largely remained the same.
- The Associated Press reports there are about 36 recovery high schools in the country, the first of which opened in 1979, and the rise in opioid abuse is pushing interest in new schools — including seven that are being developed in Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and Washington.
- Inconsistent enrollment, uncertain funding and questions about high-quality curriculum have plagued the schools, many of which close within a few years of opening, though some state and federal governments are considering creating more sustainable funding sources for them.
Many school districts have had to forego counseling support services because of funding constraints, making home schools a poor option for students with considerable needs. Alternative schools, including those for pregnant or parenting teens, are routinely criticized for providing a less rigorous academic environment for students. Yet they have contributed to increasing graduation rates in the United States, thanks to their focus on keeping school-aged students in the classroom, rather than leaving them to drop out.
With a high school diploma more important than ever — and, increasingly, not enough for good careers — schools are being expected to meet the diverse needs of all students, including those that fall outside the traditional scope. New funding sources from state and federal agencies may make this more possible in the years to come.
- Associated Press Recovery schools for addicted teens on the rise
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