Re "Schools are setting too many troubled kids adrift" (Editorials, Oct. 6): Addressing the problem of students falling between the cracks -- including students who are chronically absent, suspended, or stuck indefinitely in alternative schools -- is crucial to public safety. Students who transfer, especially to alternative schools, are more likely to drop out. Dropouts are three times as likely to be arrested as graduates.
Senate Bill 744 would make a difference, providing needed statewide guidance to ensure that alternative school placements are appropriate, enrollment space is available, and students have the same right to return to a traditional school as expelled students. It also closes the loophole that allows the involuntary transfer of students despite winning expulsion hearings.
Instead of aiding our most vulnerable youth, improper transfers can push them towards dropping out and a life of crime. If we do more to help struggling students succeed in school, we will all be safer.
-- Chris Magnus, Richmond, chief of police