BOSTON, DEC. 26 -- Mayor Raymond L. Flynn wants to strike a deal with high school students: Stay in school and get a diploma, and he will guarantee a job.
Flynn is to outline his program next month after he is sworn in to a second term.
"We want to bring about full employment," said Flynn, a Democrat, who is to deliver his second inaugural address Jan. 4. "We're stressing dignity and respect for young people. We're reaching out for economic justice and economic opportunity."
He said Boston's economy is strong enough to afford a virtual guarantee of jobs for every high school graduate.
Boston's unemployment rate in October, the latest figure available, was 2.3 percent. But unemployment among teen-agers was much higher, said Arthur Jones, a spokesman for Flynn, who did not have an exact figure.
Overall, Massachusetts had the lowest November unemployment rate among the 11 largest industrial states, 2.7 percent.
The dropout rate is high in Boston's public school system, which saw many changes over the past 13 years during desegregation.
According to figures released last summer by Yohel Camayd-Freixas, director of the Boston School Department's office of research and development, the dropout rate among public high school students fell from a high of 16.9 percent during the 1983-84 school year to about 15 percent. That's still much higher than 15 years ago, when the dropout rate was 4.4 percent.
Much credit for the improving rate has been given to a 5-year-old program called the Boston Compact, a cooperative effort between city schools and business leaders. It gives jobs and scholarships to youths as long as they remain in school and improve their grades and job skills.