Spokane Poverty Rates
July 25, 2010 3 Comments
While poverty has been decreasing in Washington State, in recent years Spokane County’s the poverty rate has been increasing. There is a relationship between high school drop out rates and poverty – also see “1 in 3 Spokane High School Students Drop Out“.
In these charts, the yellow line corresponds to the City of Spokane, the red line to the County, and the dark blue line corresponds to Washington State.
Data Source: Community Indicators of Spokane
Zoom in on the most recent years to highlight the problem:
Poverty and school drop out rates are related. Some interesting comments from retiring Community Colleges of Spokane Chancellor Dr. Gary Livingston, here, in the Spokesman-Review newspaper (July 26, 2010):
We have to invest both in the students who are going through now – who didn’t come in ready to learn – and have to do it at a preschool level. So we’ll have to pay twice for a while, to help prepare students better. The (problem of not being ready for school) is a significant reflection of poverty in this area. And candidly, our community is getting poorer, not wealthier.
The high school drop out rate impacts the region’s ability to have a higher performance economy – without a skilled, educated workforce, employers cannot find the workers they need. Companies will not move operations to Spokane that require a high skilled, high paid workforce; local entrepreneurs will be unable to find the skilled workers they need, and outside investors, such as venture capitalists, will not invest in start up businesses in the area. An educated workforce is critical to the success of a 21st century economy. With out an educated workforce, the local economy will stagnate or slide downwards.
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