85% high school graduation rate in PA; not good enough

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | May 28, 2016 8:49 AM

(Harrisburg) -- High school graduation rates have been on the rise, but one national drop-out prevention organization is pushing to improve it further.

They want the graduation rate framed as an economic issue.

Pennsylvania's high school graduation rate is 85 percent, higher than the national average but lower than the 90 percent that groups like Communities in Schools would like to see.

Executive Vice President Gary Chapman says it's estimated the annual increase in earnings if Pennsylvania's graduation rate reached 90% is $100 million.

"That would be another 26 million dollars in state, local and federal tax revenue.  Potentially 700 new jobs in the state could be filled by these graduates and we would see annual spending in the state increase by 74-million," he said.

Chapman said it's important for states to invest the resources to make sure students living in poverty have the support they need to finish school. 

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