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Stabenow, Kildee: Legislation Will Provide Educational Support to Youth Who Have Dropped Out of High School

Press Release

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Leaders Introduce "RAISE UP" Act

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Representative Dale Kildee today introduced the Reengaging Americans in Serious Education by Uniting Programs Act (RAISE UP). The legislation will coordinate existing initiatives so they are working together to improve services to youth who have dropped out of high school so they can attain a diploma, a post-secondary credential, and a family-supporting career.

"Dropping out of high school has a severe impact on the future livelihood of a teenager," said Senator Stabenow. "High school dropouts earn $10,000 less per year than high school graduates, and $34,000 less than college graduates. If we make existing initiatives more efficient we can provide our youth better access to resources that will help them get back on track and attain the skills to compete in the global economy."

"As a former teacher, I believe the best way to prepare our youth for professional success and strengthen our workforce is to provide every child with a quality education. Sadly, many students leave school due to economic difficulties or because they lack a nurturing home environment, putting them at a professional disadvantage in our increasingly globalized economy. No one deserves to have their economic future restricted because of challenges they faced during their early years. That is why I joined Senator Stabenow to introduce the RAISE UP Act to support disadvantaged young people and help them reengage with their education," said Congressman Dale E. Kildee.

Each day, 7,000 students drop out of school across the country. For every 10 students who start freshman year, only seven will graduate. Furthermore, only 37 percent of youth who drop out of high school nationwide are steadily employed, and they are more than twice as likely to live in poverty.

The RAISE UP Act makes current youth support programs more efficient and effective by uniting education, workforce, and youth support services to help students overcome obstacles and succeed once they are back in the classroom. These community partnerships would receive federal support to create individual student plans to help young people overcome obstacles and support them from classroom to career. These services for students include:

* Education
Support for education services that meet or exceed state and district academic standards. In addition to regular classroom hours, students can get tutoring, mentoring, school-to-career transition assistance and other services as they work to complete high school.

* Workforce Preparation
Career-focused training and technical education to prepare students for successful careers. These 21st century skills will help young people obtain good-paying jobs in high growth sectors such as healthcare, information technology, and clean-energy.

* Youth Support Services
Access to support services such as child care, transportation, public housing assistance, case management, and mental health services.

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