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We Must Increase Postsecondary Education Participation Now

We Must Increase Postsecondary Education Participation In Louisiana Beginning With The Class of 2019

I am making an immediate call for all of us to see that the message "You must move on with your education after high school to move forward to your best future" is echoed in every Louisiana high school this year.

 

 

There is an immediate issue in our state that more than anything will affect your property value, Louisiana tax revenue, level of spending on governmental assistance, the impact of crime in your life, and the prosperity of small and large businesses of all types in Louisiana. All these things will be determined more than anything by the number of Louisiana high school graduates that pursue post secondary education and training after high school. We Must Increase Post Secondary Education Participation In Louisiana Beginning With The Class of 2019.

60 percent of Louisiana high school graduates are not pursuing postsecondary education and training after high school.  In 2020, 66 percent of new jobs created in the economy will require training beyond high school. This means 60 percent of our Louisiana young adults are entering an economy where they are not qualified for 2 out of 3 of the opportunities available. While a long term approach to change this is required, we must use the tools already in place to immediately reverse this trend beginning with the class of 2019.  It is the responsibility of every high school, school board, community, and our political leaders to see that every member of the class of 2019 has a scheduled start date for some form of postsecondary education and training before they graduate this year. 

The median yearly income of someone with a high school diploma alone is $28,400, compared to $44,800 with a two-year (Associate’s) degree and $56,500 with a four-year (Bachelor’s) degree. Currently, the median income for someone with two years of specialized technical training is even higher $63,300. Clearly postsecondary education and training is a life changer for everyone regardless of intended career path. And it will change all  our lives, wherever we live in Louisiana. Nothing will increase tax revenues to repair our aging infrastructure, reduce governmental assistance spending, and create customers for Louisiana businesses than a high earning workforce resulting from preparation to fill the jobs in the current and next economy.

TOPS is available for traditional higher education, but any student choosing a different route to success must be empowered to take advantage of existing TOPS funding for two year and other technical programs. Often all it takes is one person willing to take an action on behalf of a student to encourage them to take advantage of significant programs and funding sources directly related to a future of exciting employment for them, regardless of their interests.

I am making an immediate call for all of us to see that the message "You must move on with your education after high school to move forward to your best future" is is echoed in every Louisiana high school this year. We must make sure that every member of the class of 2019 in Louisiana high schools is aware of the huge lifetime impact of the choice to pursue postsecondary education, provide them information on the numerous resources to get it done, and has a scheduled start date for postsecondary education before they graduate this year.

Richard Lipsey

Put Louisiana First

 

 


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