The end of the industrial age and the move to a global knowledge economy are requiring nations to compete economically at unprecedented levels. Economic growth and development strategies are essential to those countries wishing to be considered global players. The public money spent on various service industries, including education, is being scrutinized in terms of return on investment as governments face increasing pressure to reduce spending or spend more efficiently (Weiss, 2004). This paper examines the national, state and local impact of K-12 education on economic growth and development and the role of the school as a basic industry of the community. Economic development is defined as both the process by which wealth is created and the way in which a society increases its level of material and social well-being over time. Economic growth is defined as the output of goods and services (Joint Economic Study Committee, 2000). The author also proposes an economic impact model for use in analyzing the impact of school as a basic industry of the local community.

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