“While Congress continues to work on cutting the nation’s budget, we must remember to keep in mind that certain American rights should not be touched and that includes the education of our children,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “In my Congressional District 15 in South Texas alone, there are more than 150,000 adults who don’t have a high school diploma. This is unacceptable and that is why I am introducing the Graduation Promise Act. It is a clear and crucial investment in America’s future.”
The Graduation Promise Act will help to transform our nation’s lowest-performing high schools by:
· Providing funds to build capacity for secondary school improvement and at the same time providing states and local school districts with the resources to ensure that high schools with the greatest challenges receive the support they need to implement research-based interventions.
· Authorizing a $2.4 billion High School Improvement and Dropout Reduction Fund to drive reform in low-performing high schools and support the development in every state of statewide systems of differentiated high school improvement.
· Authorizing $60 million in competitive grants to strengthen the supply of quality education options available to schools and districts through the development, implementation and replication of effective secondary school models.
“We have exceptional model schools in Deep South Texas already, but we need to scale up on these models in order to build a world class education system and a world class economy,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “We must turn around our dropout factories because America cannot afford to continue to fall behind. The high school dropouts from the class of 2010 alone will cost our economy $337 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes. That is a price we can no longer afford.”
According to the results of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States performs far below our international competitors. Students in the United States rank 12th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math out of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
“In order to keep our economy strong we must invest in education,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “If we cut the high school dropout rate in half, new graduates can contribute billions of dollars to our gross national product and at the same time create tens of thousands of jobs. Education and a prosperous economy go hand-in-hand.”