GEARUP WEEK. Last week was GEAR UP week. Hopefully next year at this time we would have geared down from Iraq and Afghanistan which costs the U.S. $20 billion per month together. GEARUP is a $3.67 billion college readiness program for students from low income families. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) was invented by Rep. Chaka Fattah from Philadelphia and is currently operating at 12 city high schools in the city. Over 1.2 million kids dropout of high school in the U.S. each year. GEARUP has impacted 12 million students in 49 states since it 1999. Perhaps even more money can go into college readiness now that American tax dollars won’t be traveling to Iraq to the tune of $12 billion per month after our troops return. Also, keep in mind the U.S. just spent a billion on the Libya conflict when you consider the $3.67 billion cost of GEARUP. I understand a country has to go to war from time to time but we have a dropout crisis and are engaged in two of this nation’s longest wars for almost a decade each. At $20 billion per month for both wars we still get beat by China.
“Those countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow,” Fattah said last week at a High School during GEARUP week. “Our country has to educate enough people to do the work our country needs done. And you are on the front line.” Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Fattah said, “You are the authors of your own lives….Your future will be determined by how much you want to succeed, work hard and get a good education.”