If 90 percent of Illinois high schoolers made it to graduation, the state’s economy would rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new study. The Alliance for Excellent Education claims hitting that mark for just one high school class would create more than 3,000 new jobs and boost the state’s economy by $518 million. “The best economic stimulus package for Illinois and the rest of the country is a high school diploma. That’s not only a launch pad for the individual student but also for the Illinois economy,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance.
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The graduation rate for the class of 2012 in Illinois was 71 percent. Wise, the former governor of West Virginia, says raising that rate to 90 percent is achievable, calling a high school diploma “a necessity” in order to find a job in the current economic climate.