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Baldwin Introduces NextGen High Schools Act

Legislation creates a competitive high school redesign program to increase number and percentage of students who graduate college and career-ready

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Next Generation (NextGen) High Schools Act, a bill to help high schools that enroll traditionally underserved students in the development and implementation of comprehensive, evidenced-based reform. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) joined Baldwin in introducing today’s legislation.

Currently, one-fifth of all students and nearly one-third of all students of color fail to graduate from high school on time, if at all. Unless high schools are able to graduate their students at higher rates, nearly 12 million students will likely drop out over the next decade, resulting in a loss to the nation of $1.5 trillion. 

“A high school diploma is the gateway to success and the ultimate goal of a K–12 education,” said Baldwin. “Unfortunately, the promise of a high-quality education is not realized by many of the nation’s youth, especially students of color and those from low-income families. By personalizing education, integrating rigorous coursework with career-based learning,  and connecting their learning to real-world experiences, the NextGen High Schools Act will ensure our students are well situated to graduate college and career-ready.”

“I want to commend Senator Baldwin for introducing The Next Generation High Schools Act,” said Ralph Hollmon, Milwaukee Urban League President and CEO. “We are in a competitive, global society and we need to do everything possible to help ensure that our nation’s youth graduate from high school with the necessary skills to attend college or some type of post-secondary training”.

“The Association of Wisconsin School Administrators supports the Next Generation High Schools Act as it provides support for evidence based strategies to meet our goal of having every student graduate career and college ready,” said Jim Lynch, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators. “Considering that education is among the most important determinants of success in life this goal should be among the highest priorities of state and federal policy makers.”

"I applaud Senator Baldwin's work to introduce the Next Generation High Schools Act," said Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Board Member and Region III Vice President Katrina Plese. "As a CTE professional and the voice of ACTE's members from Wisconsin and all of Region III within our national association, I know firsthand about the incredible strides that students can make when given real-world, applied learning opportunities in CTE classrooms. I appreciate Senator Baldwin's efforts to make America's schools stronger and our economy more competitive."

Read more support for the NextGen High Schools Act here

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, if the nation had raised the graduation rate for the Class of 2013 to 90 percent, 610,000 additional or “new” graduates would be contributing to today’s local economies. These new graduates would likely earn as much as $157 billion in additional lifetime earnings. The additional spending and investments from this single class of new graduates would likely be enough to support as many as 62,000 new jobs.

For the Class of 2013, if the graduation rate for students of color had risen to 90 percent, these new graduates would have seen their earnings rise by $2.5 billion annually and would likely generate as many as 25,700 new jobs.

Learn more about the NextGen High Schools Act here.

The NextGen High Schools Act is endorsed by: Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise, Association for Career and Technical Education, Civic Enterprises, College Board, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, National Indian Education Association, National Urban League, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.