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Education is the single most important criteria for success. Yes, there are many other important factors as well. But without a good education, today's youth — and today's under-educated adults — will not have the skills they need to get a good job (or start a business).
It is no secret that Washington State has been under-funding education at both the K-12 and college level for decades. Well, except to the State government, of course. This must change.
It is disturbing that only 80% of kids graduate from high school. It is easy to write those kids off as having failed, but the truth is that we have failed them. More importantly, we have failed ourselves. The odds are these kids without even a high school diploma will not be productive members of society and that taxpayers will literally be paying for this mistake for the rest of their lives.
From what I understand, around 10% of the non-graduating kids are special education students who have until age 21 to graduate, but are still considered to not have graduated for statistic purposes. So while the statistic may not be as bad as it sounds, with 1.1 million K-12 kids in this state, we are still talking about a huge number of children not graduating from high school.
A lack of education and good job leads means a person often cannot afford health care, housing or even food. More importantly, it helps to perpetuate the cycle of poverty to their children.