76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, only 70 percent of American students currently earn a high school diploma; and

WHEREAS, minority and low-income students are at greater riskof dropping out of high school and not enrolling in postsecondary education; and

WHEREAS, less than 2,000 high schools (about 12% of all highschools) account for the majority of the nation’s dropouts, with40 percent of all African-American and 33 percent of allHispanic students attending these schools; and

WHEREAS, high School drop-outs suffer personally for failing tograduate but the nation as a whole also suffers. Every schoolday 7,000 students become dropouts. More than 12 millionstudents are expected to drop out of high school in the nextdecade - at a cost of more than $3 trillion to the U.S. economy;and

WHEREAS, In today’s competitive, high-tech economy, employersneed workers with the knowledge and skills who can competeglobally, with the fastest-growing and best-paying jobs nowrequiring some postsecondary training; and

WHEREAS, the Federal government must address this nationalcrisis and support schools that help at-risk students stay inschool and obtain the necessary skills for higher education; and

WHEREAS, mayors must work with local education leaders, including school superintendents and college presidents, tosignificantly improve the high schools responsible for themajority of our nation’s dropouts and develop programs that willprovide students a pathway to higher education through collegereadiness activities and financial assistance; and

WHEREAS, successful federal college-readiness initiatives, suchas GEAR UP and Trio, are only reaching a fraction of theeligible students and continue to be under-funded every year;and

WHEREAS, S. 1185 and H.R. 2928, the Graduation Promise Act wouldcreate a federal-state-local partnership focused on transforming the nation’s lowest-performing high schools, including newfederal funds for a High School Improvement and DropoutReduction Fund; and

WHEREAS, S. 1920, the GRADUATES Act would create a $500 million Secondary School Innovation Fund to support partnerships tocreate models of innovation in secondary schools to increasestudent achievement and prepare students for success in postsecondary education and the workforce; and

WHEREAS, the US Conference of Mayors supports the idea that allschool-age children who want to attend college should beprovided the opportunity,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The U.S. Conference of Mayorsrecognizes that to compete with their international peers, American students must graduate from high school with theacademic foundation they will need to participate in postsecondary education and succeed in a 21st century economy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The United States Conference of Mayorscalls upon the federal education policymakers to work closelywith Mayors to ensure a sound federal investment in educationinitiatives and programs that prepare students for and provideaccess to college, including increased funding for the GEAR UPand TRIO programs, adopt and fund the Graduation Promise Act andthe GRADUATES Act and support financial assistance for allstudents who desire to do so to attend college.