I know those of you sitting out there in Herndon and Gaithersburg think this doesn't really affect you -- maybe that's why you're out there in the first place. Here's why you're wrong:
If these school systems continue to churn out large numbers of graduates and dropouts who don't have the hard knowledge and soft social skills required by a post-industrial economy, then the income support and health care they will require, and the crime and social pathology they will cause, will be a huge fiscal burden on households and businesses throughout the region.
Just as important, businesses won't be able to find the workers they need to grow. That will force them to pay premium (read: uncompetitive) salaries. And it will require them to recruit workers from outside the region, pushing housing costs even higher and exacerbating all the problems associated with urban sprawl.
Put another way, if the Washington area economy is going to continue to grow, much of the growth will have to be in the District and Prince George's County, which won't happen as long as the schools are inadequate.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
DCPS and you
Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein has a piece up explaining why DC's woeful public school affect you.