The accessibility to a sound, equitable, and adequate education for each North Carolina resident is paramount to future success within our growing economy. Many programs within this multifaceted system guarantee our future generation a strong, educational foundation; notably dropout prevention grants. However, the recent elimination of these grants by the NC General Assembly (a mere 0.0012% of the total education appropriations, or $13.3 mil.) threatens the ability of many at-risk adolescents to complete their education, further hindering their role in North Carolina’s workforce.
According to the state Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina has recently seen a record low in dropout rates. This, in large part, is due to the success of programs funded through dropout prevention grants allocated by the state. These programs provide at-risk students with additional aid to possess core academic skills, assist students in passing employer exams, set long term goals for decreasing dropout rates while increasing college readiness, and enable students to complete technical/academic programs in high demand fields with adequate wages.
Without the continuation of these existing programs, at-risk students will fall farther behind, moreover punctuating our polarized and inequitable society. As Horace Mann once stated, “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” During a time of deep economic recession, threatening the education of our children neither aids our economy nor creates more equitable economic opportunity.