Supe's On: High school diploma pays future dividends

Making education a priority in our state, is making our children a priority. Within the “State Budget Address” Governor Noem proposed a 6 percent increase to education funding. The proposed increase is larger than required by state statute and the continued support for education is greatly appreciated. Understanding that workforce and economic development is a major focus in our great state, I want to highlight the critical importance that K-12 education plays in such an initiative. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Center for Labor Market Studies demonstrates that employability, personal income, and our economy are directly correlated to a high school diploma.

High school graduates have a much lower unemployment rate than a student who chooses to dropout. In addition, an individual with a high school diploma earns approximately $500,000 more over a lifetime than a high school dropout. Further, the lifetime fiscal gap between individuals with a post-secondary degree or certificate and a high school dropout is over $1 million. Beyond the financial impact on the economy, a high school diploma increases the probability of an individual’s involvement in family and civic life, while decreasing the likelihood of their participation in criminal activity. 

As our state focuses on the workforce and economy, research demonstrates K-12 education must be a priority. Continuing to improve teacher compensation is critical for student success as schools work to recruit and retain the best teachers possible. 

Strengthening, supporting, and providing resources to K-12 education is critically important for developing our workforce and building the economy.

Go Lynx!


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