On December 2, Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) introduced legislation that would provide $2.5 billion in federal funds for low-performing high schools. The bill, the Graduation Promise Act (GPA), was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)on September 23, and would provide money to districts and states to help them implement effective, research-based reforms tailored to the specific needs of high schools.
As mentioned in the September 28 issue of Straight A’s, GPA would authorize $2.44 billion to create a High School Improvement and Dropout Reduction Fund focused on transforming the nation’s lowest-performing high schools. Such a fund would help states and local school districts identify high schools with low graduation and student achievement rates and provide them with the resources necessary to implement research-based interventions. Funding would be awarded through competitive grants to schools that partner with local communities, businesses, and other entities to create proven dropout prevention strategies such as mentoring and apprenticeship programs and early college high schools.
The second component of the legislation is a $60 million competitive grant program that would promote the development and implementation of successful school models that are geared toward students who struggle in conventional education settings.
“Focusing on the nation’s lowest-performing high schools will produce immediate gains by turning thousands of dropouts into graduates,” said Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise. “By introducing the Graduation Promise Act, Representative Hinojosa has shown the will to address this problem; his legislation shows the way.”
More information on the Graduation Promise Act is available athttps://all4ed.org/federal_policy/legislative_updates/graduation_promise_act_111th.