Press Release
Font Size: A A A
Print

CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT CREATES $1 MILLION FUND TO SUPPORT POSITIVE SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

 School districts can seek training, information, support and funding starting this fall
 
The California Endowment today announced the creation of a new $1 million fund to support school districts, especially those with high suspension rates, to transform their approaches to school discipline through strategies proven to prevent misconduct, keep kids in school and improve school safety.
 
In the last three years, California schools have issued more than 2 million suspensions, the majority unrelated to violence or drugs. The number of California students suspended each school year is enough to fill the Rose Bowl four times over, according to new federal data. 
 
The increasing use of harsh school discipline is not producing better educational results. Research from the American Psychological Association and other experts clearly shows that punitive approaches that remove students from school for minor misconduct don’t result in safer and more successful schools. However, student misbehavior drops dramatically when schools teach positive behavior from a young age and address the underlying causes of misconduct, which often are rooted in health problems.  
 
“An increasing number of school leaders now understand that harsh, unforgiving approaches are not helping students succeed,” said Robert K Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment. “These school leaders are committed to changing their approaches, and in these difficult fiscal times, additional resources can help to speed adoption of new strategies and make Health Happen in Schools.”
 
To support this effort, The Endowment will fund the creation of a comprehensive website with information about positive school discipline, guidance for school leaders, and research, case studies and strategies for involving teachers, youth and parents in shaping discipline policies.  The online clearinghouse also will feature examples of California schools and districts that are successfully applying positive approaches to school discipline with impressive results, along with step-by-step toolkits for school leaders and parents who want to implement comprehensive schoolwide discipline reform.
 
“In a growing number of schools in Richmond, Oakland, Salinas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and elsewhere, school leaders are showing how positive discipline can prevent misconduct and lead to dramatic drops in suspensions and expulsions,” Ross said.  “The overuse of harsh school discipline is a problem we can solve, and our foundation is committed to supporting schools and community leaders in this important area that affects the future health and opportunities for California’s young people.”
 
School districts will be able to apply for training, grants and other support starting this fall. Districts interested in seeking funding are invited to contact SchoolDiscipline@CalEndow.org.
###
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment's Web site at www.calendow.org.