In What’s Missing? Well Leadership which was posted on January 1, 2010, I said:
The legislators are correct in their prudence about the budget, but the question is whether they are being, as the saying goes, “penny wise and pound foolish.” There is a reason why the drafters of the state constitution stated that education was the “paramount duty” of the state. So much of economic development and full employment is based on an educated and skilled population. Third world countries are undeveloped for many reasons including unsustainable debt, corruption, and being disadvantaged in the world system of trade. One of the primary reasons that third world countries are third world is the limited education opportunity for the majority of their population.
At the same time the legislators are looking reducing the prison population and reducing other programs for substance abuse, the legislators should be looking at the genesis of many societal problems – a poor education, particularly among the low-income and populations of color. Parents. Com has some interesting statistics on dropouts
Facts About Dropouts: Who Is at Risk of Dropping Out
The following information shows certain groups of young people whose members are more likely than others to leave school before graduating. While not everyone in these categories drops out, paying special attention to the needs of students from these groups can keep some of them in school.
· Students in large cities are twice as likely to leave school before graduating than non-urban youth.
· More than one in four Hispanic youth drop out, and nearly half leave by the eighth grade.
· Hispanics are twice as likely as African Americans to drop out. White and Asian American students are least likely to drop out.
· More than half the students who drop out leave by the tenth grade, 20% quit by the eighth grade, and 3% drop out by the fourth grade.
Earnings and Opportunities for Dropouts
The gap between dropouts and more educated people is widening as opportunities increase for higher skilled workers all but disappear for the less skilled.
· In the last 20 years the earnings level of dropouts doubled, while it nearly tripled for college graduates.
· Recent dropouts will earn $200,000 less than high school graduates, and over $800,000 less than college graduates, in their lives.
· Dropouts make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare.
· Dropouts make up nearly half the prison population.
Earnings and Opportunities for GED Holders
In the past it was thought that returning to school to get a GED certificate didn’t have much effect on a person’s job opportunities. Regardless, each year nearly half a million people get a GED. A recent study shows, however, that there are large differences between those who drop out and those who get a GED, not only in the ability to find a job but also in the wages they earn:
· Men who got a GED earned 21% more than male dropouts; women GED holders earned 18% more than female dropouts.
· While only slightly more than half the dropouts were either working or looking for work (called “in the labor force,”) over 80% of those who had gotten a GED were in the labor force.
· Twice as many women GED holders were in the labor force as women dropouts. In fact, nearly two out of three female GED holders were in the labor force.
· For African American men, 85% of GED holders were in the labor force, compared with 60% of dropouts.
· For Hispanics, 93% of GED holders were in the labor force, compared with 77% of dropouts.
The Lives of Dropouts
In a recent survey, dropouts, approximately 18-years-old, were asked to tell about their lives before they decided to leave school. They said that both their personal and schools lives were very hard. Experiences like the following ones, which they revealed, can be considered a warning sign that a student is a dropout risk:
· 20% were married, living as married, or divorced, with females more likely than males to be married. Nearly 40% percent had a child or were expecting one.
· Nearly 25% changed schools two or more times, with some changing for disciplinary reasons.
· 12% ran away from home.
· Almost 20% were held back a grade, and almost half failed a course.
· Almost one-half missed at least 10 days of school, one-third cut class at least 10 times, and one-quarter were late at least 10 times.
· One-third were put on in-school suspension, suspended, or put on probation, and more than 15% were either expelled or told they couldn’t return.
· 11% were arrested.
· 8% spent time in a juvenile home or shelter.
Clearly, there are adverse effects for children who dropout of school. One way to decrease the number of dropouts is early education programs.
A conference where MIT was a participant described the economic benefit of early childhood programs
Politics has always been a tough business, the Ides of March is one example of how brutal politics can be. Many times those who serve do so under tough conditions, often with little thanks. Still it is time to recognize that there must be some investments made for the future and early childhood programs are an example of necessary investment. Just as there are those who reflex ably say no to school choice, there are those who just as reflex ably say no to investing in this state’s future.
What’s missing? Well, leadership.
The latest revenue projections were released and this is a situation which has gone beyond unstable to dire and the fact that there is a crisis should be recognized. See, The Perfect Storm Is Posed to Hit Education and Washington State Budget Meltdown Mess Update: The Perfect Storm Posed to Hit Education
Chris Grygiel has a blog post at SeattlePI.Com, ‘It’s Gonna Be Ugly’; State Revenues Plunge $1.4 Billion which discusses just how ugly the revenue projection is.
Washington’s chief economic forecaster Arun Raha on Thursday told lawmakers tax revenues will come in $770 million less than expected this biennium. For the 2011-13 spending period, revenues are forecast to be down nearly $670 million, for a total hit between now and 2013 of $1.4 billion.
“I wish I had better news to give, but I don’t,” Raha said. “This recession is the worst since the Great Depression…the Washington recovery seems to have lost momentum in the summer months after strong growth in the spring.”
Thursday’s report means the current, two-year budget is in deficit by $516 million. For the next spending period the shortfall is about $4.5 billion, officials say.
“It’s gonna be ugly,” said Marty Brown, director of the state Office of Financial Management.
Gov. Chris Gregoire has already signed an executive order that will cut state spending to help patch the hole left by lower tax collections. Gregoire says she expects the cuts to be about 6 percent. That’s on top of the Legislature’s actions earlier this year to balance the budget by cutting some spending, raiding one-time funds and raising taxes….
Brown said the biggest cuts will be in social services. The corrections department will also take a hit, as will education, he said. For example community colleges will offer fewer classes and the number of students in the remaining offerings will grow, he said.
Republicans said Gregoire should call lawmakers back to Olympia to deal with the problem…
“It would be better for the Legislature to convene for a short special session, because we can do things the governor can’t,” Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, said. “We can make policy and structural changes that would focus the available revenue on the most essential services, and leave enough in reserve to get the state through June, when the biennium ends. We can also adopt reforms that would help when it’s time to write the 2009-11 budget.”
While Gregoire has resisted bringing lawmakers back, Brown indicated they may need to return before their scheduled January session. [Emphasis Added]
Some one should exercise some leadership.
In People Who Read This Blog Support Children and Families, You Must Get Involved to Help Support Them The Children’s Alliance was highlighted because people who care about strong families and healthy children must get involved to support strong children and families. Another advocacy group for those who support children and families to consider is the League of Education Voters. At their site, they describe Who We Are
We’re parents who believe in the power of grassroots and political action. No issue matters more to us than education, year after year. We understand that our future depends on preparing ALL of our children for success in college, job training, careers and life. We know schools and educators are doing the best job possible with the resources available. We also know our education system needs help. While our expectations of our students, educators and school leaders have increased, our level of state support has been on the decline.
We’re students who believe our future depends on our voice. We need to stand up for a high school diploma that means we’re ready for life. It’s unacceptable that a student can earn a 4.0 in high school and not be eligible to apply to a university in our own state. We need to speak up to ensure every child has access to a high quality education in our state-no matter where they live.
We’re educators who believe our school finance system is broken. Every day we see the basic needs that are not paid for by the state-and are instead paid for by local levies and out of our own pockets. It’s time that we hold our lawmakers accountable for what our schools need to educate our students TODAY, not what our schools needed 30 years ago.
We’re community leaders and advocates who believe that we get the schools we demand. That’s why in 2001, we founded the League of Education Voters. We believed it was time for a truly independent, powerful voice for parents, educators and community members to improve Washington’s education system through grassroots and political action.
And we’re policymakers who are impatient about progress. We’re tenacious about the work of building a true coalition to support change. We believe local activists, opinion leaders, lawmakers, the PTA, unions and especially young people must fuel the momentum for change. It’s the momentum we need to help every lawmaker step up to true leadership on education.
At LEV, we believe reforms plus resources are the keys to improving outcomes for children. That’s why we wrote and passed Initiative 728 in 2000 to lower class sizes and provide more learning opportunities like preschool and all-day kindergarten for students. I-728 was just the beginning. LEV was founded one year later to ensure state lawmakers fulfilled their promises and the will of the voters. LEV has successfully passed a statewide initiative, worked to pass two constitutional amendments, defended an important education revenue source and pushed for the creation of a seamless public education system.
Most of all, we’re only successful with your support. Our state’s 1.5 million public school students in early learning through higher education are counting on us to help them succeed in life.
The League of Education Voters may be contacted
Leaders for quality public education from cradle to career
League of Education Voters
2734 Westlake Ave N | Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206) 728-6448 | Fax: (206) 728-6462
Find your niche, find your advocacy group and get involved.
This government needs to lead and prioritize what are the essential duties of the state, which in this bloggers opinion, are protecting children and families. The lame across the board cuts do not prioritize what is essential to move this state forward.
WE NEED A SPECIAL SESSION NOW.
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at [email protected]
To receive updates from the Seattle Public Education Examiner, just click “subscribe” at the top of the story and enter your email address, which will not be shared.
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©