A national evaluation of Safe Schools/Healthy Students: Outcomes and influences
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative has awarded over $2billion in grants to more than 350 school districts in partnership with local mental health, law enforcement, and juvenile justice agencies. To estimate the impact of grantee characteristics, grant operations, and near-term outcomes in reducing violence and substance use, promoting mental health, and enhancing school safety, logged odds ratios (LORs) were calculated contrasting Year 3 with Baseline performance from grantee-provided data on seven outcome measures. After comparing grantee performance across outcomes and outcomes across grantees, the LORs were entered as dependent variables in a series of meta-regressions in which grantee characteristics, grant operations, and near-term outcomes were tested after controlling for pre-grant characteristics. Findings indicate that the SS/HS Initiative significantly improved most outcomes, that within-grantee performance varied greatly by outcome, and that random-effects meta-regression appreciably decreased the variance available for modeling. The approach demonstrates that the SS/HS Initiative is effective and that locally collected performance data can be used to estimate grantee success in improving youth outcomes.
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