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Meeting of the Minds to Tackle Dropout Problem

This story aired last night on WSAZ-TV. Click here to view the segment.  

Last year, more than 6,900 students in West Virginia didn’t graduate. That’s a number that has a big impact considering that the lost lifetime earnings in the state for that class of dropouts alone totals nearly $1.8 billion.

The statistics have led Generation Charleston to push for a solution to the problem.

“West Virginia needs to do something,” said Ryan White, co-captain of the group’s Public Policy Team. “If we want to attract the industries, we want those high paying jobs. We need to have an educated workforce.”

On Tuesday, the group hosted an educational policy forum.

Educational leaders from around the region were broken into groups to discuss several initiatives that Generation Charleston believes could offer a fix for the growing dropout rate.

Those initiatives include creating a drop out recovery program, increasing reading skills, addressing attendance issues and creating a board to award grants to schools for programs to raise the graduation rate.

Generation Charleston intends to take their discussions to the state level by forming one of the initiatives into a piece of legislation.

The Charleston Committee for Change will use the forum’s suggestions to endorse an initiative during the 2011 legislative session.

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