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Archive for May, 2009

Wonky words: Report on education equity

The Schott Foundation for Public Education just released Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America. In this report, the states are ranked on the opportunity to learn provided to all students. What I find really interesting is where the report calls out the economic consequences of each state’s education system.

 This report puts Washington’s annual economic burden to taxpayers because of inequity at $507 million. Yep, that’s $507 million each year, or $1.1 billion each biennium. To give some perspective, the annual economic burden in Virginia is $1.5 billion, in Massachusetts, $852 million, and in Oregon, $16 million.

 Here are some more numbers for Washington:

Potential Return on School Improvement Investment:           250%
(Differences attributable to high school graduation per annual cohort)

State Annual Total Lifetime Health Loss                                          $100 million

State Annual Crime-Related Loss                                                        $65 million

State Tax Losses (Lifetime)                                                                    $342 million

Annual Lost Lifetime Earnings                                                             $704 million
(Difference attributable to high school graduation per annual cohort)

Net Annual Potential Revenue Increase from Equity                 $313 million
(After deducting estimated cost of improving schools)

Just some food for thought for the holiday weekend.

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