- United Way in King County, WA, where Seattle is located, has launched a new initiative called Reconnecting Youth Project with the goal of getting high school dropouts between 16 and 23 high school equivalency degrees.
- The project will enroll 5,000 youths by 2020 in programs around the city, which is home to roughly 15,000 high schools dropouts.
- The program, which will cost an estimated $8,900 per student, will be paid for in part by using state funds allocated for dropout recovery.
State and city programs are extending their focus beyond dropout prevention, offering more programs focused on dropout recovery as a way to meet graduation goals. Washington ranks 42nd in the country for high school graduation rates, part of the impetus for the Seattle program.
It also reflects a broader trend to reach out to older dropouts, as well. The federal government has extended its focus on high school dropouts and workforce development up to 24, similar to Seattle’s new program. But some have urged states to take an even broader perspective as well, looking at dropouts who are no longer eligible for state and federal funding due to their age.