A reader: What this article fails to take into account is that many students already perform community service. Many school clubs require a certain number of hours of community service from members. Many students participate in community service through their church. Other students perform community service as part of their Scout program or other programs. Therefore, I believe the additional benefit of $150 million is an overestimate. Secondly, who would be responsible for the burden of documentation? I suspect that would fall onto already over-burdened school counselors.
Peter Eberle: Thoughtful and well-done! Today's youth are less in need of more academics and more in need of improved social skills. Requiring community service promises social explorations that will surely develop some of what is lacking in so many of our students. Unfortunately, these service projects often devolve into "doing time," so I would recommend that the service requirement include a required "social" report describing the persons encountered during the service, the planned future encounters with these people, and the intended impact of maintaining a positive association with them. The grade for community service could then be based on criteria beyond "X" number of hours served, and could then be factored into HOPE eligibility.