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You Need to Start Early...Really Early

State of Preschool Access

In Florida, slightly more than one quarter of high school seniors do not graduate, translating to almost 50,000 students who do not receive a high school diploma each year. Now consider this: 75 percent of state prison inmates are high school dropouts and the economic costs in the areas of wages, taxable income, welfare and incarceration range from $320 - $350 billion every year – a tangible economic drain on businesses and job creators across the United States.
 
“Every high school dropout poses a direct cost to businesses and we owe it to our next generation to prepare them— it’s an issue of vital importance to the business community,” said Dr. Ed Moore, President of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. “If Florida is to have a prosperous economy with high-wage jobs, we must address early learning and better prepare children for more rigorous high school curriculums.  This leads to greater preparedness for college and career, resulting in more employability, higher overall wages and a talent pool that can support 21st century needs.

If Florida is serious about continuing to improve our graduation rate, if we are serious about supporting the other 25 percent of high school seniors in our state, then we need education initiatives today that begin early… really early.

DID YOU KNOW? According to research conducted by the Rauch Foundation, 85-90 percent of brain development takes place by the age of five. In addition, groundbreaking research from Rice University found children from low-income families are exposed to 30 million fewer words by the age of four. This gap in learning, while fixable, poses substantial challenges for states that rely on a highly-trained and educated workforce to fuel economic growth. If students are already at a disadvantage by the time they reach age five, businesses are also at a disadvantage. 

So, where does Florida stand?
Florida is making substantial progress and in many cases leads the nation in education initiatives.  In the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report, The Nation’s Report Card, Florida’s achievements are substantial.  Overall, Florida’s improvement is twice the national average – in 4th grade math and reading and 8th grade reading, the academic improvement of Florida students was twice as high as that of students nationwide.  In addition, Florida outperformed the nation in 4th grade reading in every subgroup.  When looking at the differences in performance between minority and non-minority groups – often referred to as the “achievement gap” — Florida is also leading the way.

Florida Net 12-Month Job Creation

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Key Indicators

Home Foreclosures

As Florida continues to recover from the housing market collapse, trends in home foreclosures provide insight into Florida’s progress through the extended recovery...

Consumer Confidence

The Florida Consumer Confidence Index measures residents' perceptions of personal finances now compared to a year ago and expectations of U.S...

Population

Florida has the 4th largest population in the U.S., estimated at just over 19 million in April 2012...

Unemployment Rate

Florida has an labor force of over 9 million, ready to meet the workforce needs of businesses...