School Climate

School climate is a broad concept that involves several aspects of the educational experience and may be described as the quality and character of school life. Research shows that positive school climate is tied to better attendance rates, test scores, promotion rates and graduation rates. In order to promote a positive school climate, states are seeking to ensure students and educators feel safe and supported and that the school environment is conducive to positive relationship building. When approaching school climate, state leaders tend to focus on several more specific issues, such as health, discipline and safety. The following resources provide relevant contextual information, as well as state policy trends and examples, for anyone interested in approaching school climate issues in their state.


50-State Comparisons

How all states approach school climate policies.


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples on school climate issues.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for school climate.

Approximately 1 in 6 school-age children experience a mental health disorder each year, and experts estimate up to 60% of students do not receive the care they need to address these challenges.

In the past few years, the use of e-cigarettes — also known as vaping — has increased dramatically among school-age youth. This issue is compounded by arising health concerns around vaping, including lung injury and even death.

Did you know nearly 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school children currently use electronic cigarettes? Between 2011 and 2018, e-cigarette use among high schoolers increased 78%.

States want to ensure students and teachers feel safe and supported in classrooms and schools. There are countless ways education leaders try to make this happen, and many fall into what is often considered school climate, or the quality and character of school life.

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on school climate.

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View all available school climate resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: