I would like to share information about the importance of students completing their high school career, with a diploma, and receiving additional types of post graduate certificates.  According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the higher the level of education in the United States the lower the unemployment rate will be.  In November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said overall unemployment was 9%.   For workers who are 25 years or older, the unemployment rate decreased slightly to 7.8%.   In a recent report from the Utah State Office of Education, the high school drop outs are more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages, have higher rates of public assistance, and be single parents.  A single 18 year old dropout earns $260,000 less over a lifetime and contributes $60,000 less in federal and state income taxes.  Combined income and tax losses for one cohort of 18 year olds who are drop outs, is $192 billion which is 1.6% of the GDP.   America loses more than $26 billion in federal and state income taxes each year from the 23 million high school dropouts aged 18 to 67.  Over 4,000 Utah students dropped out of school during the 2009-10 school year.  Garfield School District had a graduation rate of 97% for the 2010-11 school year.   This may sound like a high statistical percentage but what about the 3 percent who fail to graduate each year?  We need to make sure these students don’t fall through the cracks during their educational years.  If you feel like your student is in jeopardy of being able to graduate, please make an appointment to visit with the local high school counselor now to outline a plan for your child to complete the graduation requirements.   Garfield County School District has purchased a computer based credit program for adults or students who have dropped out of the educational system.  Mr. Curtis Barney is the Adult Education Director in the District and has applied and received additional funding to support this program totaling $17,000.  We will have six computers available at the Panguitch High School EdNetroom.  This will allow individuals who have dropped out of public education to earn their Adult Education High School Diploma.  If you, or someone you know in our District, who is interested in completing their adult diploma please contact Panguitch High School EdNetPanguitch High School is currently the only available location in the District for this option.  An additional emphasis should be placed on higher education as well.  The lowest reported unemployment rate is for people who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, at 4.4%.  College may not be for everyone but, it is difficult to argue the economic benefit of having a job.   The first step toward a sure economic future for your student is to complete a high school diploma.  I would like to set a goal of 100% graduation rate for the students in Garfield County School District.  I know if we work closely with parents, students and teachers, this goal will be obtainable in the future.

“All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

–Superintendent Ben Dalton

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