As an advocate of lifelong learning, Mrs. Corbett recognizes the importance of a high school education for all of Pennsylvania's students. On average, 14,000 students drop out of Pennsylvania's public schools each year and more than 70,000 have dropped out since the 2007-08 school year.
Research shows that over a lifetime, high school dropouts earn $1 million less than those with a college degree and are more likely to end up in the justice system, rely on public assistance and face higher unemployment rates. Nationally, dropping out of school results in $300 billion a year in lost wages and higher public-sector expenses.
Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis says that a high school diploma not only benefits the state's economy, but it also provides personal satisfaction to each student.
"Obtaining a high school diploma is an accomplishment that must be a goal of all Pennsylvania students," Tomalis said. "Students who struggle academically often are discouraged from continuing their education. The First Lady's Opening Doors initiative focuses on middle school students at risk of dropping out in order to alter their trajectory toward obtaining a high school diploma."The early warning system will be offered to schools free of charge. It is being funded by federal and private dollars. Team Pennsylvania Foundation is also providing support for these efforts. To read more about the First Lady's Opening Doors initiative, visit www.pa.gov/firstlady. Media contact: Kirsten Page, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116 Tim Eller, Dept. of Education, 717-783-9802 SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education