Inflation isn’t just changing our behavior at the gas pump and grocery store. More teens are working now than before the 2008 financial crisis. Some of them are taking advantage of all the higher-paying entry-level jobs, but others are just trying to help their families make ends meet.
As the school year begins, some educators are worried more teens will opt out of school to work, adding to already high absenteeism rates in schools. “We’re definitely seeing more of our students needing to work,” said Jason Morton, vice president of national school operations. More than 80 percent of our students come from low-income households.
When Hayley R. enrolled with us, she was working and taking care of her younger brother because their parents suﬀered from addiction. “My biggest challenge was staying in one place long enough to focus on school,” the 17-year-old said. “Attending this school allowed me to work on my schoolwork whenever and wherever I could,” she explained.
The flexible schedule and extra help we offer were critical to Hayley’s success — and so many other students who need to work or care for children. Hayley just graduated, earned a scholarship and is enrolling in community college.
We have always oﬀered this personalized learning model. The flexible schedules mean students are not required to sit in a classroom all day. Instead, they meet with teachers throughout the week and complete assignments on their own schedule.