Increased Graduation Rates Could Generate $1.3 Billion for Nebraskans

Converting one year’s worth of high school dropouts in Nebraska into high graduates would create an additional $1.3 billion in lifetime earnings for those students, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. James Heckman.

NET Television will premiere a panel discussion on Heckman’s analysis of the economic benefits of early childhood investments tonight at 8 p.m. on The State of Education in Nebraska. The program will repeat Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. on NET2 World.

Panelists include Pete Festersen of the Nebraska Early Childhood Business Roundtable; Shawn Shanahan, executive director of the Fremont Area United Way and a partner in the Fremont Early Childhood Coalition; Cass County Sheriff Bill Brueggemann of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids; and Major General (Ret.) Mark Musick of Mission: Readiness.

The panelists will explore how the quality of early childhood experiences affects a person for a lifetime. A poor start too often results in failure in school, reduced earnings, increased criminal behavior, and a less prepared workforce and military as well as other social costs.

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