Last month, Glynn County and the state of Georgia got good news when it comes to graduation rates.

Glynn County Schools had a graduation rate of 95.1 while the state hit its highest mark with 81.6 percent.

The progress is good, but Merrill Wilcox showed Tuesday why the state still needs to reach higher than it is now.

Wilcox, strategic partnership coordinator for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, gave a presentation about the economics of education Tuesday at a regional summit to discuss education and workforce issues. The summit was put on by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce.

Wilcox said that if the graduation rate across the state was at 90 percent, it would result in $160 million in additional income for residents, $10.5 million in additional state and local tax revenue and $260 million in home sales.

That is a real-world example of how important it is that communities work together to help students reach their full potential.

We saw how dedicated Glynn County representatives and others were with local business leaders, education leaders and nonprofit entities all participating in the conference.

Organizations like Communities in Schools have played a big role in helping Glynn County improve its graduation rate.

The dropout prevention program was singled out by the Glynn County Board of Education for its efforts in helping increase graduation rates in a school board meeting last week.

“The graduation rate wouldn’t be where it is without you all,” said school board member Millard Allen at that meeting.

There are still challenges to be met involving changing demographics and helping students that are growing up in poverty. Wilcox said tackling the challenges of securing the workforce pipeline takes the entire community working toward the same goal.

We in the Isles are grateful to have our schools, colleges, nonprofits and businesses all working toward the same goal — one that will literally pay off for future generations.

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