Friday, November 20, 2009
The Graduation for All Act of 2009
Introduced yesterday by House Democrats, the Graduation for All Act of 2009 would create a $2 billion grant program from middle and high school turnarounds. While the details are still vague, the website of the Committee on Education and Labor pushes the idea of school turnarounds by allowing a school district to choose from a "Model of Success" list, ranging from "transformation to restarting the school as a charter."
The rationale begins, "The high school dropout crisis poses one of the greatest threats to our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. Each day 7,000 U.S. students drop out of high school. More than half of all students who drop out are from the so-called “dropout factories” – the 2,000 high schools with dropout rates above 40 percent. Many of these students come from a struggling middle school. President Obama has challenged Congress and the American people to take action by asking every American to commit to at least one year of higher education or training. This will require addressing our nation’s dropout crisis and dramatically improving graduation rates."
According to the press release, “The dropout rate has reached epic proportions in minority communities,” said U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL). “Only 48% of African American males and 58% of Latino males graduate from high school. The social, economic and human costs are horrific. This bill will meaningfully advance efforts to identify and help individual youth at risk for dropping out early on and we know that early identification and intervention significantly reduces the dropout rate and significantly increases the graduation rate.”
The legislation also will help prepare students for college and careers by requiring schools to provide them with their financial aid options and other college-related information. This bill includes $150 million for Early College and dual enrollment programs to allow students to earn up to two years of college credit at no cost to the student, which would help decrease the overall cost of college for these students.