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Oakland Schools Discontinue DARE Program


November 1995

The Oakland City Council ended the system's DARE program, citing financial constraints (Gary Rivlin, "Oakland Schools Do Away With DARE," East Bay Express (Berkeley), September 22, 1995, p. 2).

With cutbacks, the Council decided it could no longer afford to fund DARE. The program would have cost the district $800,000 in the next school year. No other drug prevention program has been discussed to replace DARE.

"It's not that DARE is a bad program," said City Council member Sheila Jordan. "But it's not this great pedagogy either. It offers a pretty standard antidrug curriculum that studies show isn't particularly effective. When I saw the kinds of cuts we were being forced to make in places like parks and rec, I thought it was important to stand up and say that DARE is not sacrosanct. Not when there are alternatives out there that seem to do a much more effective job of prevention."

Last fall a study by Research Triangle Institute found that DARE was ineffective in curbing drug use among adolescents. The study also found that although DARE was popular with students and parents, other programs could be much more effective in helping children learn about the dangers of drugs (see "Results of Justice's DARE Study Not Published," NewsBriefs, September/October 1994, p. 11).