School is becoming a more and more frightening place to be in today’s world.
The horrifying stories of school shootings are enough to make any parent worry. Students also have to deal with the day-to-day realities of bullying.
In Missouri bullying is a big problem. A new WalletHub study shows Missouri has the third biggest bullying problem in the country.
Teen suicide across the country are linked to stress and climate at school. Instances of teen suicide in Missouri have increased by 32 percent since 2016. Missouri has the highest rate of suicide compared to its bordering states.
Two recent studies show expanding school choice can impact school safety and mental health.
School choice is effective at increasing student academic performance, improving college enrollment, decreasing crime, and saving taxpayers dollars. These new studies show that school choice can also go a long way to making your child safer.
A number of studies of school choice programs show both parents and students feel safer attending a school of choice.
The most recent study, a study of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, showed:
“The positive impact of scholarship use on general perceptions of school safety was 19.5 percentage points for parents and 15.5 percentage points for students.”
Another new study uses two different methods to examine the impact of school choice on student’s mental health.
They find that teen suicide rates consistently and significantly decreased in states when charter schools are offered. Teen suicide rates also dropped, although not significantly, after vouchers were offered.
They also used surveys of students in private schools to estimate their eventual adult mental health. They found significant evidence that access to private education helped to improve mental health.
Florida has a new school choice initiative called a Child Safety Account (CSA).
Florida, a perennial leader in education reform, is the first state to pass a CSA. Other states are considering similar measures.
Child safety accounts are like education savings accounts. They help parents who feel their child’s school is not safe.
Florida’s CSA allows parents to instantly move their child to a school of their choosing.
CSA funds can also be used to pay for homeschool expenses.
Florida’s Hope Scholarship Program began in October. It offers bullied students an immediate escape from a dangerous school. It also creates a strong incentive for schools to resolve their bullying issues.
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