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Utah proclaims "Dropout Recovery Week" as NoDropouts opens a new front

Matthew LaPlante
801-931-2707 ext 2062


Salt Lake City, Utah — June 3, 2012 — According to the State Office of Education, Utah’s graduation rate rose from 69 percent in 2008 to 76 percent in 2011. That’s a significant accomplishment, but Gov. Gary Herbert says it’s not nearly enough.

Though dropout prevention programs abound in the state — and are showing success — more than 4,000 Utah students left school without a diploma in 2011, and “few initiatives are in place to bring students who have already dropped out back into the academic fold,” according to a declaration signed by Herbert in June.

The declaration designated June 3-9 “Dropout Recovery Week” and coincided with an announcement from NoDropouts, which partners with dozens of school districts across the United States to turn dropouts into diploma holders, that it would open its services to Utah schools.

“We’re extremely proud of what we do across the country, but as a Salt Lake City-based company, we’ve been longing for an opportunity to work with the young men and women we see in our own neighborhoods,” NoDropouts co-founder and president Gregg Rosann said. “The time is now right for us to do that.”

The stakes are high: The Alliance for Excellent Education has demonstrated that cutting the dropout rates in half would result in more than $40 million in increased annual earnings and $3.9 million in additional tax revenue for each new class of graduating students. Extensive research also shows that dropouts are more likely to be jobless, homeless, reliant on social services or incarcerated.

That makes the dropout epidemic a “threat to the wellbeing of our state,” Herbert’s declaration states.

“No single program or policy ends that threat,” said NoDropouts co-founder and chief academic officer Rebekah Richards. “But we’re very proud to be part of the solution alongside dozens of school districts, and we’ve very excited to roll up our sleeves in Utah.”

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