First-of-its-kind study links school choice to lower suicide rates

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

troubled teenA study released last month made a provocative claim: Suicide rates drop dramatically among youths when they benefit from options for schooling and from an environment that meets their emotional needs.

The study, which can be read here, examined the emotional and mental environment that students are exposed to in a classroom setting, and compared positive and negative factors found in public schools versus private schools and charter schools.

The study was published in the journal School Effectiveness and School Management.

Study co-author Corey DeAngelis, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, tells One News Now the study found that charter schools showed a 10 percent decrease in suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-olds.

"It could be because the students were finding a better fit, a better match, between the school that met their needs,” he says. “And we didn't find that for the voucher laws but I think that could be explained because the voucher programs tend to be much smaller in size."

The study also found students who attended private schools throughout their K-12 education were much less likely to report mental health issues later in life.

In the study's conclusion, DeAngelis and co-author Angela Dills suggest that charter schools in particular show a better mental health environment for students.

The authors also state the first-of-its kind study deserves more research on the topic and said such research is welcome. 

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