Is SEL Worth the Investment?
Educators that have had exposure with social and emotional learning programs (SEL) tend to become strong advocates for the potentially life-altering value it provides to students. Implementing these programs comes with a significant cost; and an argument has spurred from it of whether it is cost-effective, a sound investment. Columbia University’s Center for Cost-Benefit Analysis had picked up on this snafu, and decided to do the math.
The results of the analysis conducted were astounding. They weighed the price of faculty, materials, facilities and other expenses. These findings were then weighed against the documented benefits of such programs in decreasing cost to society, by improving individual’s incomes. Columbia estimated the cost of implementing one particular program (The 4Rs) at $68,000 for 100 students. Economic benefit was found to fall around $832,000.
With such a significant return on investment, one can only hope that these numbers will help to sway those who are skeptical of investing funds in SEL projects. Financials, aside: let’s not neglect the value of enriching these children’s lives and setting them up to succeed in the world.