Federal Reserve watchers are divided on when the central bank should begin raising interest rates. Fed chief Janet Yellen is to give a keynote speech at the Kansas City Fed's symposium on Friday but has previously said the economic recovery is too fragile to withdraw accommodation and raise rates. While most Fed officials concur that the benchmark interest rate should be raised sometime in 2015, critics worry that a continuation of the Fed's easy monetary policy courts the risk of inflation or bubblelike conditions.
Education always is a hot topic at the local, state and federal level, but it seems few take the time to compare which regions do the best job of graduating high-school students. This analysis looks at the data by U.S. county and looks at the relationship between graduation rates and per capita income plus access to health insurance.
High-school graduation rates are expected to decline by between 5% and 10% next year after a federal mandate goes into effect. Under the new rules, state graduation rates no longer will include students who graduate from special-education programs, virtual schools or other alternative programs. Officials say the anticipated drop follows record graduation numbers from states such as Florida, where officials recently reported that 80.1% of high-school students graduated.
The Department of Education last month announced $46.6 million in dropout-prevention funding, with the possibility of more funding. Twenty-nine states and districts qualified for the grants. Officials in states such as Colorado and Washington say they plan to use the money on early-warning systems and student support.