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Stay in School

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Today's editorial is directed toward you young people who recently started another school year - especially those of you in high school and who may already be struggling to keep up. The message is simple and direct - stay in school.

One reason is clear - it pays, literally, to get an education.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual salary of a high school dropout is $17,299. With a diploma the annual salary increases to $26,933. Go on to college and graduate and you'll make, on average, $52,671 per year.

While those figures have been pretty well-publicized, a new study by the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education puts a new twist on the cost of dropping out of school. In these difficult economic times, dropouts have a much more difficult time finding work than do high school and college graduates. In fact, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts is more than 15 percent.

The results, according to the study are clear: "In this economy, being without a high school diploma is two strikes - you are more likely to make less, and, if you have a job, you are more likely to be laid off from it."

So, as the school year proceeds, don't get discouraged and don't dropout. On the contrary, stay in school!

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