Richard John O’Connell, 73

first_imgAt a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Dec. 6, 2016, the following Minute was placed upon the records.Professor Richard O’Connell, who arrived at Harvard as Assistant Professor of Geology in 1971 and passed away on April 2, 2015, was a towering figure of post-modern geophysics.Rick’s path to Harvard and science was not linear. He was raised in Montana, where his paternal grandparents had emigrated from Ireland and his grandfather worked as a gold miner. His father was a successful cattle rancher and, for a time, Sheriff of Lewis and Clark County. Rick’s mother, a musician, raised her children during her husband’s long absences and after he was seriously injured in a bull goring. In this challenging environment of hard work, high expectations, and encouragement, a home life that began in the county jail and was centered on the ranch that he returned to throughout his life, Rick developed an abiding affection for America’s wide-open spaces and the values of those who live within them.He left Montana to pursue an undergraduate degree in physics at the California Institute of Technology. Gerald Wasserburg, the legendary experimental geochemist, convinced Rick that Earth science was the most promising application of physics and explained that his group would have a vacancy once an underperforming undergraduate was told that his career in geochemistry had come to a premature end. Rick remained at Caltech as a graduate student, working with Wasserburg and Don Anderson, and his thesis made two enduring contributions. First, he explained the enigmatic origin of many sedimentary basins that form within continents. These basins are a ubiquitous feature of the geological record and growing up close to a widely studied example, the Williston Basin, no doubt sparked Rick’s interest in the topic. Second, Rick turned to data related to the Earth’s changing shape following the ice age to estimate the viscosity of rocks within the Earth’s deep mantle. He demonstrated that this region is not rigid, as widely believed, but has a viscosity low enough to permit solid-state flow. This insight remains a paradigm of modern geophysical research, and it provided an early example of a theme within Rick’s entire body of research: the energetic bucking of what Kenneth Galbraith called, in another field of study, “conventional wisdom.”After post-doctoral work at UCLA working on experimental high-pressure mineral physics, Rick was recruited to Harvard University, along with seismologist Adam Dziewonski, to build a geophysics program in the Department of Geology. The post–plate tectonics world was preoccupied with elucidating the driving force responsible for plate motions and, seizing this opportunity, Rick turned his attention to theoretical research focused on that question. He found support within the Center for Earth and Planetary Physics led by atmospheric physicist Richard Goody, and a kindred spirit in the applied mathematician Bernard Budiansky. Together, O’Connell and Budiansky developed a seminal mathematical theory for treating defects in cracked and porous rocks and for predicting the impact these defects have on Earth’s deformation over time scales ranging from seconds to decades. Even today, students who embark on research in mantle anelasticity are commonly advised to “start with O’Connell and Budiansky.”After being tenured in 1977, Rick helped merge the Center for Earth and Planetary Physics with the Department of Geology, creating the new Department of Earth and Planetary Science. With the support of Michael Spence, the Dean of the FAS, the department quickly established itself as a world center for solid Earth research.During this period and beyond, in the quickly evolving post–plate tectonics world, Rick, and his students, were responsible for transformative contributions to our understanding of thermochemical mantle flow and its connection to the geological record. His group pioneered calculations of three-dimensional mantle convection. They discovered that energy in plate motions was equipartitioned into poloidal and toroidal components—a now fundamental constraint on the mantle-plate system; they argued that the dip angle of subduction zones implied that upper mantle flow penetrated into the lower mantle and showed that global flow strongly impacts back-arc spreading rates, revealing an important limitation of regional tectonic studies; they modeled “ablative” subduction, an elegant framework for reconciling observations in a range of subduction environments, and used mantle flow modeling to explain the distribution of plumes and hotspot tracks and the enigmatic bend in the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain; and they presented a new model of mantle dynamics in which long-lived and segregated “blobs” of chemically distinct material reside within a high-viscosity lower mantle, subducted slabs penetrate into the lower mantle, plumes rise sluggishly from their deep sources and a relatively weak shallow mantle permits the energetic evolution of Earth’s surface geology. A review in the journal Science credited the new framework as pointing the way toward a unified view of the Earth that reconciles geochemical, mineral physics, and seismological data. In later work, Rick expanded his geophysical focus to write influential papers on the interior properties of exoplanets and was a visionary founding member of the Origins of Life Initiative at Harvard.Rick’s profound scientific legacy is reflected in the prestigious honors he received—the Augustus Love Medal from the European Geosciences Union, the Inge Lehmann Medal from the American Geophysical Union, and the Arthur L. Day Medal from the Geological Society of America—and in the generations of young scientists he supervised. His former students, intellectual leaders in their own right, have elevated the many institutions to which they belong, including MIT, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Los Alamos National Lab, NASA, GFZ Potsdam, and the University of Toronto. Rick will be remembered for his extraordinary generosity and his love of the logic and precision of science. His legacy in life includes, first and foremost, his family: his wife Susan, whom he adored and who happily shared his world of ideas and his adventurous spirit on a different kind of wide open space, the ocean; his son, Brian; and his step-daughter, Lily. Those of us lucky enough to call Rick a friend miss his incomparably sharp wit, and the sense, whenever we spoke to him, that we were sharing time with an irreplaceable human being of great substance and dignity.Respectfully submitted,Jeremy BloxhamStein B. JacobsenMichael B. McElroyDimitar SasselovJerry X. Mitrovica, Chairlast_img read more

Students celebrate pope emeritus

first_imgThe resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, now known as Pope Emeritus, has dominated world headlines since his official announcement three weeks ago. For three Saint Mary’s students, these headlines are referring to events right outside their door. Sophomores Nikki Charter, Lauren Osmanski and Tori Wilbraham are participating in the College’s study abroad semester in Rome. The program began in mid-January and finishes in April. “This has been such an exciting time,” Wilbraham, a religious studies major, said. “Massive amounts of people are coming to both Rome and Vatican City. The hotel we are staying at is fully booked for the next couple of weeks. People from all over the world are coming to be in this Holy City at this special time. “The crowds have been so large the city even had to repaint all the street lines to accommodate all the traffic coming through.” Because this is the first pope to resign in six centuries, dozens of reporters from major networks have come to report the climate of the city. “A couple of weeks ago Lauren [Osmanski] and I were interviewed by NBC,” Charter, a communications major, said. “A reporter pulled us aside assuming we were American and quick asked us a few questions about the Pope’s final public Mass.” Osmanski, a business major, said it was at his final mass that she realized the significance of his resignation. “We went to his last public Mass on Ash Wednesday. He was honored with three standing ovations,” Osmanski said. “The most emotional part of the mass for me was when the curtain fell in front of him.  People around us were yelling ‘Papa Papa’ and right then and there it hit me that he was actually resigning. I thought to myself ‘This is happening.’” For Wilbraham, that moment came at the Pope’s final blessing Feb. 3. This blessing was said in eight languages including English, Italian, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and French. “When you are standing amongst a crowd of 125,000 people that is when you are truly moved by the Holy Spirit, or at least I was,” Wilbraham said. “I realized how special the Catholic community truly is. It goes beyond Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame. It expands worldwide crossing barriers of language, culture and so much more.” Charter said that the atmosphere of Vatican City and Rome is dreary since the resignation. “As exciting as it is there is actually a dreary aura around the environment of Vatican City,” Charter said. “It is a very unique experience to be in Vatican City without a Pope. Here we feel as though we are essentially fatherless.” All three students attend morning Masses at The Pontifical North American Seminary. They said recent homilies have been centered on praying for both the current and future state of the Church. “Sunday’s homily talked about how important of a time this is not only for the Pope Emeritus, but also for the future of our church,” Osmanski said. “In Mass we were encouraged to acknowledge how exciting this time is, but we still need to pray for the Pope Emeritus and we need to send our prayers to the conclave.” Osmanski said Pope Benedict XVI’s stepping down will affect not only his legacy, but also believes it will affect the future procedure of the Church. “Toward the end of Pope John Paul II’s life, Pope Benedict was essentially his right hand man. He saw the effect his sickness had on the Church and the Pope,” Osmanski said. “I think this experience played a significant role in his decision to resign. I also think that this will become a pattern.  The head of our church is essentially our father figure and this man must be fit to travel and undergo the pressures of the position.” The Pope’s last official day was on Thursday and on Monday, the Cardinals met informally to discuss when the conclave will begin. Wilbraham said normally the conclave cannot start until 15 days after the Pope is out of office, but clauses were altered to allow the conclave to begin sooner. “The gossip in Vatican City and Rome right now is not about who is going to be the new pope. No one can gauge it,” Wilbraham said. “We can have our opinions on who we would like to see as the new pope, but Cardinals are unable to speak to anyone until the conclave is over. Until the moment the smoke is in the sky we will not know.” All three students said they hope for this next Pope to be non-European. “The church is not only European,” Charter said. “The Catholic Church represents the entire world. The talk of the town right now is the conclave is looking at cardinals from the Americas and Africa. Essentially, there is talk about this being the first pope that is not from Europe. This then is allowing the public to ask the question of how Europeans, specifically Italians would react to a non-European pope.” The students said no matter who is named the next pope, they will be ready to celebrate and honor this next era of the Catholic Church. “From here on out it is sneakers only,” Wilbraham said. “When we see or hear of the smoke rising we will be ready to run to Vatican City with our Saint Mary’s flags in hand.”last_img read more

Student seminar examines border issues

first_imgAs part of a Center for Social Concerns seminar centered on immigration and the United States-Mexico border, 15 students trekked to the southern Arizona borderland from Jan. 7 to Jan. 14.The trip aimed to immerse students into borderland life and allowed them to engage in discussion with humanitarian aid groups, religious leaders, immigration lawyers, Arizona locals and Border Patrol about the controversies surrounding it. Senior marketing major Mackenzie Gray said the seminar offered an in-depth way to “dig into the issues.”“There are so many different ideas out there about what should be done, and the point of [the trip] was for us to experience what was really happening, and then walk away with our own thoughts and opinions to share with other people,” Gray said.To prepare for the excursion, the students attended a weekly class throughout the fall semester to read about and debate different perspectives on immigration and the border.Gray said the students also hiked alongside the Arizona border and distributed water for migrants to drink, learned about the role religion plays in border control, and observed the legal proceedings of Operation Streamline — a policy mandating that all undocumented migrants be entered into the federal criminal justice system. Repeat border crossers face criminal convictions and jail time under the law.“We met a lot of humanitarian groups who do stuff like put out water and provide aid to people who are in the desert in bad condition,” Gray said. “The people who were leading a lot of the humanitarian efforts are people of faith. We went to Southside Presbyterian Church, where a lot of humanitarian efforts were started, two or three times to train before we went out to the desert.”Senior anthropology student Margaret Collins said she has always been interested in the humanistic side of migration and was affected strongly by how little the general American population knows about Mexican immigration into the United States.“This course was extremely timely in that there is a lot of uncertainty on the border regarding the change in leadership within Washington, D.C.,” Collins said. “I believe that no matter where you stand politically, this course allowed participants to witness firsthand the harsh and overlooked realities of the border while maintaining an analytical and dynamic focus on policy.”Though the students were mainly stationed at a retreat center at the University of Arizona in Tucson for the week, they frequented the border city of Nogales, Arizona.“The borderlands are tense,” Collins said. “In urban Nogales, there are friends talking to one another through the gaps in the wall, memorials for those killed by Border Patrol, and a clear, tangible division of quality of life between the two sides of the border. In the rural fields, you can see handprints up the slotted wall of migrants who attempted to climb and hop over.”Collins said participating in humanitarian aid and seeing people physically crossing the border on the hillsides around them was “very powerful.”“I was surprised to see the variety of people sharing a similar passion for the dignity of the migrant and how many were working to better provide aid to those struggling in the Sonoran Desert,” Collins said. “Seeing what was left on the trails was haunting: torn up jackets, empty gallons of water, disheveled backpacks.“These reminders of humanity will stay with me as motivations to advocate for those who seek refuge to make a better life for themselves and their families.”last_img read more

Alleged Guatemalan Drug Lord to be Extradited to USA

first_imgBy Dialogo September 21, 2012 The Fifth Sentencing Court of Guatemala approved, on September 19, the extradition of Guatemalan Walter Montejo Mérida alias “el Zope” to the United States on drug trafficking charges. “It is so ordered that the detainee is extradited to the corresponding authorities, and that the [Guatemalan] Ministry of Foreign Affairs is informed about the decision reached,” stated a court clerk when reading the ruling. Montejo was captured on June 10 in the city of Huehuetenango, 167 miles (269 kilometers) northwest of the capital, in the department of the same name bordering Mexico. The Court of the District of Columbia is accusing him of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute controlled substances. The United States have been requesting his extradition since 2010. The Court specified in its verdict that the United States considers Montejo an alleged member of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. The drug trafficker has been accused for allegedly receiving drug shipments in Guatemala from South America, and then transporting them to Mexico, with the U.S. as its final destination.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Sep. 11

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThankfully, fools like Trump are rarePresident Trump abruptly canceled a secret meeting to open peace talks with the Taliban, upending months of negotiations in a tweet. He owes an accounting to all the service members who have borne the brunt of 18 years of folly.He thinks it a clever negotiating tactic to bring all the parties to the table, bang his fist, shout “F you,” then storm out. That’s how to get a better deal.We don’t want a deal. We want an ending. We owe that to all our men and women in uniform, to our allies and to the Afghan people whose weddings and funerals are turned into killing fields as the war drags on.We shouldn’t be surprised.This is a guy who dodged the draft on a fake disability and spent the Vietnam years chasing skirts and shaking his behind in Studio 54. He doesn’t respect servicemen who “got captured.”He mocks the immigrant parents of a Muslim soldier killed in this war. He is cutting tens of millions in funding that benefits military dependents to pursue his phony war at the Mexican border. He gives self-aggrandizing press interviews among the headstones of the fallen in Normandy. He’s using our military to bail out his failing golf resorts. He has zero empathy for the men and women who serve.Maybe there’s a sucker born every minute, as he believes, and we are all suckers. But it’s a damned good thing a colossally feckless fool like this comes along but rarely.Terry O’NeillAlbanyNo need for Cuomo plate money grabThere’s no doubt that some New York license plates are worn to the point where they are unreadable.But the majority of the plates that I have seen are perfectly good. Why punish those of us who have plates over 10 years old, that are still good, by making us buy new plates? Hasn’t anyone thought of having the condition of the plates part of the annual motor vehicle inspection? If they don’t pass inspection, you have 10 days to get new ones.Oh, I get it, New York wouldn’t reap the high profit gained by having everybody with 10-year-old plates getting new ones at the inflated price that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to charge. This is Gov. Cuomo at his money-grabbing best.Jim SeverinoScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

British government facing mounting criticism in exam row

first_imgThe British government was criticized by lawmakers in its own party on Sunday after a mounting row over English exam grades awarded during the pandemic intensified, in the latest hit to its reputation.With a nationwide lockdown forcing exams to be cancelled, the government used an algorithm to assess grade predictions that had been made by teachers, and lowered those grades for almost 40 percent of students taking their main school-leaving exam.The process led to thousands of students losing places at top universities. To compound the issue for the government, results shows that grades were less likely to be lowered for those students who attended fee-paying private schools. Read also: State university entrance exams held with strict yet ‘misguided’ health protocols in placeJohnson’s government has been criticized for its handling of the pandemic, with the country recording the highest death toll in Europe, the most severe economic contraction of any major economy so far and multiple occasions where it has been slow to respond to events.The opposition Labour Party said the incompetence was unacceptable.While France published the methodology for how it would award grades months in advance of results day, Britain announced changes to the process the day before they were released. The issue is likely to surface again this week when grades for 16-year-old students are released on Thursday.The government has said pupils would not have to pay to appeal grades and said most students will have received the correct results. Ofqual said some of the predicted grades given by teachers were “implausibly high”. Topics : On Saturday night the exams regulator published guidance on the appeals process, only to pull it hours later because it needed further review.Robert Halfon, chairman of the cross-party education select committee in parliament and a lawmaker in Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, described the situation as farcical.”It sows confusion among pupils, head teachers and school teachers and it’s the last thing we need at this time,” he told the BBC.Conservative lawmaker Robert Syms said the government needed to address the issue with a fair appeals process “or risk (Conservative) Tory MPs going on warpath”.last_img read more

Brighton vs Arsenal scheduled to go ahead after Man City game is postponed

first_imgArsenal’s players are observing a 14-day period of self-isolation (Getty Images)Brighton have confirmed that their Premier League match against Arsenal this Saturday is still scheduled to go ahead after the Gunners’ fixture against Manchester City on Wednesday evening due to the coronavirus.The decision to postpone the match ‘as a precautionary measure’ following the news that Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis had contracted the virus.Arsenal played the Greek team in the Europa League on February 27 and Marinakis had come into contact with both players and staff at the Emirates Stadium.Arsenal have said that risk of the players contracting the virus is ‘extremely low’ but members of the squad have been told to observe a 14-day period of self-isolation starting from the time they came into contact with Marinakis.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTArsenal have also confirmed that the players who engaged with Marinakis are due to return to training on Friday and should be available for the Saturday’s fixture against Brighton. Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live Olympiacos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis revealed he has contracted coronavirus (Reuters)In their statement, Brighton said: ‘The risk is considered extremely low and Saturday’s match remains scheduled to go ahead with the self-isolation period for those players ending tomorrow, as we continue to follow government and medical advice with regard to the coronavirus.’Meanwhile, Arsenal’s statement read: ‘The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘However, we are strictly following the government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact. ‘The players will remain at their homes until the 14-day period expires. Four Arsenal staff – who were sitting close to Mr Marinakis during the match – will also remain at home until the 14 days are complete.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Comment Advertisement Brighton vs Arsenal scheduled to go ahead after Man City game is postponed Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 11 Mar 2020 8:29 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link741Shareslast_img read more

Liverpool legend John Barnes tells Arsenal fans what to expect from new signing Thomas Partey

first_imgThomas Partey could make his Arsenal debut against Man City this weekend (Picture: Getty)Liverpool legend John Barnes has warned Arsenal fans to be realistic over what qualities new signing Thomas Partey will add to their team.Mikel Arteta had been desperate to reinforce his midifield over the summer and his need for greater strength in depth was exacerbated after the decision to permit the loan departures of Matteo Guendouzi was sanctioned.After missing out on Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, the Gunners moved swiftly on deadline day to activate Partey’s £45million release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract.The 27-year-old is now eligible to make his debut in Saturday’s heavyweight Premier League clash against Manchester City and although Barnes rates Partey as an excellent addition to the squad, he fears the player is being hyped up as something he is not.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Thomas Partey was necessary for Arsenal, they needed strengthening in defensive midfield, and players who could break the game up whilst leading from the back and turning defence into attack. Man City v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 20:55FullscreenMan City v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta press conference is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘Partey is a decent player on the ball but his true qualities lie in winning the ball back and giving Arsenal that steel in midfield to protect the back four, so he is an excellent signing for them.‘It is important that fans understand that he won’t start spraying long diagonal balls, doing step overs in the opposition half or scoring from long range. ‘Arsenal have many players such as Aubameyang and Willian who can do that for them. (Thomas) Partey will be that shield to support the defence and break up the play, which Arsenal have been crying out for a long time. More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘He really could be the difference for them this season and I am excited to see how he gets on.’Partey will have the benefit of just one full training session with his new team-mates before the trip to the Etihad on Saturday. When asked about the chances of his headline summer recruit being included in the squad, Arteta said: ‘Today he will have his first training session, so everything has to come really quickly for him. ‘We knew that before we signed him that he is fit, he is very willing to start playing and we will see how he goes in the next few days.‘I have seen the buzz around the place, the fans are really happy, I have seen some really positive reactions after we bought him, the same with the team, the squad and the staff.’MORE: Mikel Arteta gives latest update on Kieran Tierney availability for Man City vs ArsenalMORE: Mikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Comment Liverpool legend John Barnes tells Arsenal fans what to expect from new signing Thomas Partey Metro Sport ReporterThursday 15 Oct 2020 1:39 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link485Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

State Board of Education Supports Governor’s Plan for Kids to Start School By 6 and Stay Until 18

first_img May 09, 2019 Education,  Press Release,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – The State Board of Education is supporting Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to require students to start school by age 6 and remain until age 18. Both changes are key components of the governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP). The bold plan in the 2019-20 budget proposal would create the strongest and most qualified workforce in the nation.“I applaud the State Board of Education for supporting this plan that will help thousands of students to get a better education,” said Governor Wolf. “We must make sure our children have the training and skills for emerging high-demand jobs. That means modernizing outdated requirements, so kids get a good start to their education and continue through graduation.”The first resolution approved by the board this week supports lowering the required age to start school from 8 to 6. Approximately 3,300 children would enroll. Pennsylvania is one of only two states that allow children to wait until age 8 to begin school. The requirement was established in 1895 and does not reflect the educational needs of students in the 21st century.“Education is the foundation on which students build successful lives,” said State Board of Education Chair Karen Farmer White. “Students fare better when they start school at an earlier age and position themselves for success when they stay in school, graduate and earn a high school diploma.”The board’s other resolution backs the governor’s proposal to raise the dropout age from 17, which was set in 1949, to 18. After 70 years, most jobs today require training and education beyond a high school diploma.Each year, more than 13,800 Pennsylvania students leave school without graduating. In 2016-17 alone, students dropping out before finishing high school will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers and economy an estimated $13.2 billion in lost lifetime earnings and increased public costs. Raising the dropout age will better prepare students for good, middle class jobs and help to close the skills gap so businesses can hire enough educated and talented people to thrive and expand in Pennsylvania.Another component in governor’s SWEAP plan include recruiting and retaining qualified teachers by raising the minimum salary from the current $18,500 to $45,000. Across the state, 180 out of 500 school districts would receive money to raise the minimum salaries to $45,000. About 3,100 educators across the commonwealth would benefit from the governor’s proposal to raise teacher salaries and three out of four are women. State Board of Education Supports Governor’s Plan for Kids to Start School By 6 and Stay Until 18center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more