MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin officials are requesting proposals for a substance abuse recovery charter school scheduled to open next year.

The state Office of Educational Opportunity will fund the charter school for four years before giving control over to a school district, local government or private operator, The Capital Times reported.

“We are wide open for whoever has the strongest proposal in terms of who can create the partnerships and, once we incubate this, who can continue it once we step out,” said Gary Bennett, head of the educational office.

The school hopes to serve up to 15 students a year free of charge. Students must be sober for 30 days prior to admission and willing to randomly be tested for drugs.

The state will provide $8,000 per student every year, Bennett said. The school will also get $100,000 in seed money from the state and the educational office.

The school’s coursework must meet the standards for the state’s high school diploma. The school will also offer therapeutic services to support the students’ recovery.

The state is accepting proposals until Dec. 2.

The public charter school is part of a package of nearly 30 bills with the goal of fighting addiction in the state.

Horizons High School is currently the state’s only recovery school. About $17,000 per student is needed each year to give students therapy and academic support, said Traci Goll, Horizon’s principal. The school supports 15 students.

“Everyone always asks, ‘Why are you so small?’ Well, there are not very many teenagers who want to admit that they have a drug or alcohol problem, or mental health issues. Parents don’t want to brag about that (either),” she said.

Goll said she’s looking forward to having another school in the state focus on helping students recover.

“We are it right now. I know there are tons of teens out there struggling, and more could use a school like Horizon. People constantly reach out to me and say, ‘I wish there was a school like this when I was a teenager,'” she said.


Information from: The Capital Times, http://www.madison.com/tct