I am writing regarding about Santa Fe Public Schools’ proposal, Engage Santa Fe, to seek out dropouts and help them graduate. I am deeply concerned. I am concerned because in all the debate around a dropout re-engagement initiative that the current board and the current superintendent are proposing, the voice and needs of the community are once again being ignored.
As many know, I have been actively pursuing such an option for south-side youth for the past seven years. I understand legislators and the teachers unions might have concerns about privatization of public dollars, in this case, flowing to Atlantic Education Partners. I, too, am concerned about the privatization of education, but I am more concerned about the thousands of young people and young adults who have not been able to complete their high school educations. They are thus blocked from better jobs, more education, higher quality of life and better health. I am more concerned about the increased risk of these young people ending up in prison, on welfare, on the streets and with diminished life chances. I am even more concerned for the children they will have and the impact of their limited opportunities on the next generation.