“Fifty years ago, the nation could afford to lose large numbers of students before graduation because high school dropouts could still land well-paying jobs and support their families. But times have changed. Today, jobs that require relatively little education are increasingly done by machines or shipped overseas, and individuals who fail to earn a high school diploma are at a great disadvantage when it comes to finding a good paying job”.
-Dropouts, Diplomas and Dollars
Kansas’s dropout problem affects each of us. After all, these students are our future. The young people in our classrooms today will make up the workforce of tomorrow. And an educated workforce is essential to economic development and our long-term success.
We can no longer afford to treat this as a “school problem”. Not graduating costs everybody. It will take parents, businesses, churches, schools, youth, civic groups and others getting involved and working together to make sure that all children in Kansas graduate from high school prepared for life, work and/or postsecondary education, instilled with a passion for lifelong learning.
Ways that your business can Drop IN to be part of the solution:
- Convene an ongoing business roundtable examining the performance of high schools in your community and region.
- Invite students in for tours, shadowing, and extern and intern opportunities. Offer a summer job opportunity to a teen.
- If you own a business or supervise people and already have students working for you, have a conversation about how it’s important that they finish their high school education.
- Make a company donation to a dropout prevention program or a community organization that offers after school or tutoring to at-risk kids.
- Encourage employees to volunteer during or after work hours with organizations that provide in-school or after-school programs such as mentoring, tutoring, etc.
- Talk to the local high schools and community colleges about the needs of your business and how they can better prepare kids and young adults for work.
- Set up a youth apprenticeship opportunity and obtain a youth apprentice through the local high school.
- Offer time off or at least flexibility with work schedules to your staff as part of your comprehensive benefits to allow them to be more involved in their children’s school activities.
-Suggestions compiled from NC Rural Center
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