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Why so few applicants can read: Graduation rates tell the tale

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According to a new study, “Diplomas Count 2008,” only 58% of Georgia students graduate from high school on time. The national average is 71%, according to the survey conducted by Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit that publishes the journal Education Week.

Only four states and the District of Columbia performed worse than Georgia.

The practical consequence for Georgia employers is an entry-level labor pool with poor basic skills. That means someone—most likely employers—will have to pick up the slack.

Consider working with literacy agencies to bring employees up to workplace standards.

The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education has a variety of programs available, some specifically designed for the workplace. The Georgia Tax Credit for Adult Basic Skills Education program provides tax credits to businesses that fund basic-skills education for employees to bring reading, writing or mathematical skills up to the 12th-grade level. The tax credit is $150 or an amount equal to one-third of the cost of education per full-time equivalent student, whichever is less, for each employee who successfully completes an approved adult basic-skills education program.

For more information, go to www.dtae.org/adultlit/menu.html.

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