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Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates Among Students of Color and Native Students

May 16, 2011

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 established that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal.” Nearly sixty years later, the hope of Brown v. Board has yet to be fulfilled, and the nation has a moral imperative to improve the educational outcomes of students of color and Native students. But, in a time of shifting demographics and an ailing economy, there is also an economic necessity to help all students unlock their potential and ensure that they graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and in their careers. This document discusses the economic benefits—including increased earnings, home and vehicle sales, job growth, and tax revenue—that would have come to the nation and each state if half of the class of 2010 students of color and Native students who dropped out had graduated with their peers.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.