Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-04) introduced the H.R. 6434 Broadening Opportunities through Education Act today to combat high school dropout rates. The bill provides incentives and additional resources to states that increase compulsory school attendance through age 17. The resources can be used for to implement secondary school improvement programs such as expanding work-based programs that integrate academic, career, and technical training.
"The Broadening Opportunities through Education Act is essential to fulfilling the obligation to provide our students with a quality education that prepares them for a 21st century global economy," said Congresswoman Edwards. "By providing additional resources to our states, we will keep students in school longer, reaping significant economic benefits for them and our country. As Congress continues to debate efforts to reduce the deficit and grow our economy, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to remember that the greatest asset is the knowledge of our workforce and to join me in this effort."
High school dropouts earn $300,000 less than high school graduates over their lifetime, amounting to nearly $320 billion in lost earning potential. In addition, by cutting the number of dropouts in half, $45 billion in new tax revenue would be generated annually, according to the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Teachers College at Columbia University.
The Broadening Opportunities through Education Act is supported by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.