Why did high schools eliminate driver's education?
I'm wondering because I'm doing a school article on why they took driver's education out of high schools. I need sources and information on the whole thing. Please, I need your help.
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I assume in most cases, high schools have eliminated driver's education because of financial reasons. There probably are many different examples of high cost. One, a number of automobiles would have to be loaned, leased or purchased for student use. Secondly, insurance to cover student drivers would be an added expense. Additionally, one or more teachers have to paid for each class, and usually an adult supervisor is required to be a passenger in each vehicle. In some cases, the construction of a traffic road course on campus would also be prohibitive.
Most Driver's Ed programs have been dropped from school curricula for two reasons: budgetary problems, and no cost-benefit for the school. Most school systems eliminated the programs due to added salaries of teachers occupying the classrooms, additional overhead expenses such as lighting, heating, and air-conditioning, additional insurance premiums, and the fact that driver's ed, unlike science, math, or English, provide no benefit to a school's fulfillment of their basic mission: to graduate students. Since it is not required by most state legislatures, schools simply save their resources.
Additional sources are provided in the Links section of this response with well-sourced articles from around the country.
In our school, we had to eliminate driver's education because of budget cuts. Since this isn't a class that students need to take in order to graduate, it is often, unfortunately, the first thing to be cut when schools suffer financial hardships. Also, there are very few teachers who are also certified to teach driver's education; some schools may not have a qualified instructor for the course. I have also heard, although this has not been confirmed by anyone who would actually know, that it is also a huge insurance issue with school districts. It costs quite a bit of money to insure a school vehicle with student drivers. Like I said, not sure if that's true at all, but it does kind of make sense when you think about it!
The financial element might be an overwhelming reason why some schools have eliminated drivers education classes. Another reason could be due to the impact of high stakes standardized testing. The emphasis on documentation how schools meet initiatives such as No Child Left Behind, as well as what results if schools do not meet it could lead to elimination other programs. Drivers education classes could be one of those casualties, as schools require massive amounts of focus and consolidated effort in meeting the goals outlined in the legislation. Since Drivers Education is not tested (yet) under the act, it might be a casualty to it.
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