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The Need

  • Michigan has one of the harshest state discipline codes in the country.
  • Michigan has the third worst suspension rate for black students in the country (Schott Foundation).
  • Of teens ages 16-19, 4% of teens statewide are not in school. (Kid’s Count)
  • Economists estimate that dropouts cost our nation $1.5 trillion over the next decade — and individual dropouts will earn $10,000 less per year than high school graduates (Alliance for Excellent Education and U.S. Department of Labor).

Why Invest in SAC’s Approach

  • The Student Advocacy Center is a unique organization with a proud 40-year history of helping vulnerable students stay in school or get back into school. There is no other organization like us in the state of Michigan.
  • We are focused on education, the most important investment in our future. There is a return of $1.45-$3.55 for every dollar invested in producing a new graduate (New York Times, 2012).
  • We are focused on the most vulnerable students in our community, including students experiencing foster care, homelessness, mental illness, abuse and neglect, juvenile justice involvement, and harsh discipline. We use research-based indicators to determine who is eligible for our services.
  • We are focused on outcomes, tracking research-based indicators such as attendance, grades and disciplinary referrals. More importantly, we see results.
  • We deeply value and elevate student and family voice and meaningful student decision-making. Research indicates that true school reform will not happen without parents and students advocating for themselves.
  • Too often, students (and parents) are alone blamed for school problems. Solutions are designed to “fix” students. We recognize the complexity of dropout and the role systems, policies and procedures play in pushing out the students who need caring adults the most.