Southwest High School, the local poster child of low graduation rates in 2012 at 39 percent, climbed to 45.6 percent.
By way of comparison, in 2012, Jones County had a graduation rate of 71.3 percent. In 2013, they took that number to 76.6 percent. Twiggs County went from a 48 percent grad rate to 75.3 percent. The only system in the area to give up ground was Peach County, it dropped from 66.2 percent to 63.3 percent.
But there is a shadow that looms over most of Middle Georgia that has a great impact on every aspect of education: poverty. The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute released a report Tuesday, “Recovery or Bust: Georgia’s Poor Left Behind” (http://gbpi.org/recovery-or-bust-georgia%e2%80%99s-poor-left-behind). The report should scare everyone from the General Assembly that supplies most of the funds for education to the janitors in every school system.
The report finds these key points. ...
We can pay more now in an attempt to mitigate the persistent issues that lead to poverty, or we can continue to waste the human potential that poverty sucks from those impoverished and society.