Every 29 seconds, another student drops out of high school. In fact, nearly 600,000 students dropped out of the high school class of 2008 in the nation’s 50 largest cities alone. If just half those students had graduated, estimates the Alliance for Excellent Education, they would have earned more than $4.1 billion in additional income and generated nearly $536 million in state and local tax revenues in an average year. Instead, failure to graduate has devastating social and economic effects on students, families and communities.
Lily Eskelsen will describe the economic and social benefits of high school graduation to individuals and communities, including the effect of graduation rates on crime statistics, and discuss ways to make good on the promise of public education to prepare every student for success.
As an elementary school teacher and vice president of the National Education Association, Lily Eskelsen is one of the highest ranking labor leaders and one of the most influential Hispanic educators in the country. Eskelsen also has been a school cafeteria worker, kindergarten aide, folk singer and Utah Teacher of the Year. As a member of the White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education, she forged alliances with parents, businesses, civil rights organizations and advocates for the poor and disabled.