By Jim Redden, July 22, 2015.

Closing the achievement gap in the public schools is frequently said to be necessary to help minorities succeed.

But a new report released Wednesday says it would also be good for everyone by boosting the economy. It found eliminating the achievement gap in 2003 would have increased economic activity in the state by $1.9 billion by 2013. The impact would be even greater in the future since nearly half of all Portland Public School students are identified as minorities.

“Not only is education a path out of poverty for many underserved families, but these kids are our future innovators, entrepreneurs and employees; the drivers of regional competitiveness in a global economy. This report shows that closing the achievement gap will benefit not only individuals attaining better education outcomes but also the state as a whole in terms of greater economic vitality,” says Sandra McDonough, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance, which sponsored the report along with the Value of Jobs Coalition and the Chalkboard Project.

Read the full article on Portland Tribune.