Editor’s Note: This post is Part Four of a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Center in Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of KIDS COUNT intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
Post-secondary education and training are the primary pathways by which young adults gain the knowledge and skills to be successful in the labor force and achieve economic security. Earning a high school diploma is critical to embark on these pathways, yet a sizable proportion of youth in Washington are at risk of not graduating.
Overall, 28 percent of Washington’s ninth graders in 2007 did not graduate within four years. On-time graduation rates among students of color are particularly alarming. As the graph below indicates, 50 percent of American Indian students and 40 percent of Hispanic and Black students did not graduate on-time in 2007. Not graduating on-time puts students at risk for not graduating at all – the extended graduation rate for ninth graders in 2007 was just 78 percent, only slightly higher than the on-time graduate rate (72 percent).
Students who do not receive post-secondary education or training are more likely to have lower incomes or become unemployed as adults. In Washington, 89 percent of children with parents who did not graduate from high school live in lower income households.
Find graduation data and other indicators of child and family well-being for your county at the new KIDS COUNT Data Center.