Today's Compass takes a look at Gloria Johnson v. Eddie Smith, round 3.

This caught my eye: "Smith touts a bill he sponsored to create recovery high schools, which will be designed to give teenagers with substance abuse issues a chance to get their lives on track to a better future."

What is a recovery school? According to the Association of Recovery Schools, "recovery high schools are secondary schools designed specifically for students in recovery from substance use disorder or dependency." Their goals are to "educate all available and eligible students who are in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," to "meet state requirements for awarding a secondary school diploma," and to "support students in working a strong program of recovery."

The idea is to provide an alternative school, separate from the recovering student's public school environment, staffed with teachers, counselors and mental health providers. The schools would typically be public schools, with funding similar to charter schools or special school districts.

According to a previous News Sentinel article, Rep. Eddie Smith proposes to create three recovery schools, one in each grand division. He says this can be accomplished for $100,000 per year per school. Based on the above stated goals and criteria for recovery schools (facilities, educators, mental health professionals, program development, etc.), does this sound feasible?

Anyway, here's some further reading:

Association of Recovery Schools
Lawmakers Fight for Recovery High Schools
Vanderbilt University research report

mjw's picture

Actually not a bad idea

I'm Team Gloria all the way, but this is actually not a bad idea. Getting students in recovery out of the environment that originally enabled their addiction sounds like something worth trying.

Of course, $100,000/year/school is an absurd number, but I'm going to blame that on KNS. It's either a typo or has the wrong denominator. $100,000/year/student would be more like. Particularly since if there is only one per grand division, it would almost certainly have to be a boarding school for a good portion of its students.

cwg's picture

It's law now

Passed unanimously in March, and supposed to be in effect this school year. (That'd be a good followup story, JFM.)

Here's the fiscal note on cost ... tho that doesn't mean it's what it actually cost.


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