Why it’s important.
Nationwide, less than 20 percent of low-income students attend college: this staggering fact simply perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
The situation in San Antonio is no different: low-income children in our city currently have few options for an academically challenging education, and the available options are being stretched as the numbers of economically disadvantaged, non-English speaking and other underserved populations—particularly Hispanic and African-American children—increase. Texas has the fastest growing child population in the U.S. and the Hispanic population is projected to increase 48 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to Rice University demographer Steve Murdoch. Additionally, if nothing changes, the percentage of the Texas workforce lacking a high school diploma could reach 30 percent by 2040.
Reducing the high school dropout rate and preparing our students for college is critical not only to their individual success but also to the prosperity of Texas. The students who drop out of high school in a single year will cost the Texas economy more than $30 billion over their lifetime in lost wages, taxes and productivity, according to the National Alliance for Excellent Education. In addition, nearly a third of high-tech companies in Texas cite an insufficient supply of skilled workers as their main obstacle to expansion.
Education is the key to ending the cycle of poverty and ensuring a bright future for our students, our community, our nation, and our world.