|Posted:||December 29, 2020 10:54 AM|
|From:||Representative Carol Hill-Evans|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Removing Barriers to High School Graduation|
|During the 2018-2019 school year, 13,987 public school students in grades 7 through 12 dropped out of school in Pennsylvania. Though this is a decrease of 778 students from the prior school year, it is still not ideal. Our school districts already provide essential supports to their students, but the time and personnel needed to ensure students receive in-depth services to overcome academic and nonacademic barriers to graduation are not always available.
To combat this deficiency in our schools, I will be introducing legislation aimed at assisting public schools in procuring the services of non-profit organizations that provide evidence-based student support services to help students remove barriers to learning. Specifically, it will create a program that would allocate grants to schools to be used solely for services addressing the overall needs, including mental health, of students to prevent school dropouts. It will also establish an account in the Treasury Department to fund the program with unencumbered and undistributed revenue from the Department of Education, as well as donations and interest.
Operated by the Communities in Schools Organization, the evidence-based model for school supports is already used in multiple states, including Virginia, Texas, and Michigan, with great success. Notably, the most recent data showed students in the North Carolina Communities in Schools program had a 98 percent graduation rate. It is my hope that, by providing state-level guidance for student supports programs in Pennsylvania, our students will show similar successes.
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation to equip our Pennsylvania schools with the tools they need to help students tackle their barriers to academic and life success.
Introduced as HB694