WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans have made it
clear that they have major concerns going into November's elections. They
are worried about the economy, crime, health care, energy costs, the
housing crisis, and the war in Iraq. Just as people can be tracked by six
degrees of separation, so can many of the top issues for voters. Their
common bond is education.
As you look for sources and statistics for your stories, consider the
following points. The National Education Association has numerous experts
who can provide context, data sources and additional information. NEA
President Reg Weaver and President-elect Dennis Van Roekel will be in
Denver for the Democratic National Convention. They can speak to reporters
on-site or before the convention commences.
Dropouts drain the U.S. economy.
-- A high school dropout earns about $260,000 less over his or her
lifetime than a high school graduate and pays about $60,000 less in taxes.
-- Annual losses exceed $50 billion in federal and state income taxes
for all 23 million of the nation's high school dropouts ages 18 to 67.
-- The United States loses $192 billion - 1.6 percent of its current
gross domestic product in combined income and tax-revenue losses with each
group of 18-year-olds who never complete high school. Increasing the
educational attainment of that cohort by one year would recoup nearly half
-- NEA recently released a 12-point dropout prevention plan that
provides a multi-tiered strategy to address the dropout crisis.
Education is tied to health care.
-- High school dropouts are 72 percent more likely to be unemployed
compared to high school graduates. Unemployment often equals uninsured,
creating a reliance on social programs.
-- Health care can affect student achievement. An estimated 47 million
Americans are without health insurance. Uninsured children have unnecessary
illnesses and higher rates of absenteeism. They may struggle in school
because they have difficulty concentrating because of illness.
-- Studies continue to show that children learn far more and perform
far better in school when they are healthy and receive medical care. There
is a critical connection between children's health and their ability to
Education - or the lack thereof - affects the crime rate.
-- Nearly 80 percent of individuals in prison do not have a high school
-- Seventy-five percent (75%) of America's state prison inmates are
high school dropouts.
-- Fifty-nine percent (59%) of America's federal prison inmates did not
complete high school.
-- High school dropouts are more than three times more likely than high
school graduates to be arrested in their lifetime.
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional
employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and
teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals,
administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become
SOURCE National Education Association