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Letter to Representative Hinojosa supporting his Graduation for All Act

April 13, 2007

Dear Representative Hinojosa :


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for your Graduation for All Act. 

As you know, about 30 percent of high school students drop out before graduation, meaning about one million students fail to graduate from high school every year. Only five in 10 Black and Hispanic students graduate on time with a standard diploma, and less than one-half of American Indian and Alaska Native students complete high school. 

Studies show that each class of high school dropouts costs the nation more than $200 billion in lost wages and tax revenues, as well as spending for social support programs. High school dropouts have an earnings disadvantage that tends to remain with them throughout their lives. Without the required education to obtain a good-paying job, high school dropouts often face a bleak future. The majority of inmates at state and federal prisons failed to complete high school.

A 2006 study by Civic Enterprises shared dropouts' insights on why they left school before graduation. They cited a number of factors that would have kept them in school: enhancing the connection between school and work; providing real-world learning experiences; making school more relevant and engaging; and providing more help to struggling students.

By funding intensive literacy services and counseling for at-risk students and providing professional development for educators working with high-need populations, your legislation would make a real difference in raising graduation rates for at-risk adolescents. We thank you for your leadership on these critical issues and look forward to working with you toward passage of the Graduation for All Act. 

Sincerely,

Reg Weaver, President
National Education Association