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Hallelujah – We Agree! House UI Reforms Require High School Dropouts to Pursue GED, Mirroring President’s Call in SOTU

January 25, 2012

Last night President Obama had this to say about the importance of completing high school for teenagers: “We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma.  So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.”
The President’s call for more Americans to complete at least high school compliments a reform in H.R. 3630, the House-passed yearlong payroll tax and Unemployment Insurance (UI) extension bill.  That reform requires unemployed workers without a high school diploma to use their time collecting UI checks productively by making progress toward a GED.  (The provision allows States to make commonsense exceptions like for older workers or those with other specialized skills.)

Meanwhile, this morning’s news brings fresh evidence of the importance of this reform.  A New York Times article titled “Who Receives Government Assistance?” includes the following chart – showing how “a majority of households with heads who stopped their schooling before graduating from high school received government assistance in 2010.”

Source: U.S. Census Bureau