Put a Plug in Illinois Brain Drain

College & Career Readiness, High School Success | 10/16/2018

Jessica Handy
Government Affairs Director

Jessica works with parents, legislators, and other stakeholders to push for policy that puts children first.

Every now and then, there’s an issue that speaks to everyone on some level. Preparing our students for a future close to home is one of them.

Today, Stand released its report detailing the issue, “STOP ILLINOIS BRAIN DRAIN: Building Pathways to Prosperity for High School Students.” The report proposes policy changes and practices that will quickly have a positive impact in helping high schools graduate more students who are ready for college, career training, or careers.

Read the report now, and then share your own high school story!

Only New Jersey loses more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges. These students vote with their feet, taking their well-educated minds and buying power with them. And what about those who stay, but whose potential we have failed to tap because we did not provide them with adequate guidance, training, or resources?

The moment students start high school, their schools should be setting them up well for their next phase of life, not just their next class. Students should be immersed in career possibilities and supported to understand how to achieve their career goals.

This report is the culmination of a year of study and discussions with leaders in the field by Stand’s 2017-18 Class of Policy Fellows. It points to improvements already in place in Illinois that can be leveraged to reduce brain drain. It showcases innovative programs that are having success in local districts, while also profiling some students who wished they had better access to some of these opportunities. The recommendations present achievable, impactful ways for policymakers and advocates to make prosperity a reality for Illinois high school students.

We’re also launching a video contest, because this report is just part of the story. The story left to be told is YOURS. Did you or your children have access to a great high school workplace learning experience or dual credit? Or, did you wish you had a more robust counseling program to better guide you through high school? Whatever your high school is, we want to hear it – and share it! After you read the report, take action! Tell us your story, share it with a friend, or ask your legislator to get to work to stop brain drain.

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