Hoping to curb what they call an alarming rate of suspensions and expulsions in Baltimore’s public schools, several philanthropic groups will spend $1.5 million to pay for programs that serve as alternatives to being kicked out of school.
The Open Society Institute-Baltimore and six other donors announced plans last week to give more than $500,000 to four programs that will expand counseling and mental-health services, teach children to resolve conflicts peacefully, and train teachers to help students understand how their behavior affects others. The programs will be offered in 13 Baltimore schools, including two charter schools.
The donors will offer close to $1 million in additional grants in January for other programs that aim to reduce suspensions and expulsions in the 85,000-student district.
During the 2004-05 school year, more than 16,000 suspensions were issued to roughly 11,000 students, according to the city school system. Many suspensions were for minor offenses, such as poor attendance.
A version of this article appeared in the September 27, 2006 edition of Education Week