First public high school for teens battling addiction will open - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

First public high school for teens battling addiction will open in Wisconsin

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker signed a bill Monday that will create the state's first public recovery high school for teenagers who are battling addiction. 

The legislation was one of 11 bills Walker signed, all aimed at fighting the opioid crisis in Wisconsin. 

"This crisis knows no boundaries," Walker said. 

The epidemic is also impacting Wisconsin teens. 

"It doesn't matter what age, doesn't matter if you live in a small town, a big city or somewhere in between," Walker added.

The new Recovery High School would be a public charter school solely for teens battling addiction. It would be a four-year pilot program that will be led by UW System. It will offer both classes and therapy and would be funded by taxpayers. 

"It will offer wrap-around services to up to 15 students with addiction issues preventing them from getting and completing an education," said Senator Alberta Darling who helped write the bill. "They would have to have the signs that they can successfully complete treatment as well as complete their high school education through a GED."

It's an effort to get kids off drugs and alcohol, and instead, addicted to a better life. 

"Without a high school education, these students would have little hope of having a successful future," Darling said. 

There is currently one, private high school for teens who are battling addiction. It's the Horizon High School in Madison. School Director Traci Goll said the new school is "welcomed news and we need more of them."

UW System will open up an application process in August for any city that is interested in hosting the school. 

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