The impact of dropouts on local economy is huge. I’m feeling fortunate that my new job allows me to work on this by supporting schools in building pathways to college and career that are relevant and engaging to students.
Published by news release by the Alliance for Excellent Education:
Washington, D.C. – New game-changing research conducted by the Alliance for Excellent Education (The Alliance) released today shows that the U.S. economy would grow significantly if the number of high school dropouts was cut in half.
Nearly 600,000 students dropped out of the high school class of 2008 in the nation’s fifty largest cities and the surrounding areas. The Alliance’s research shows that, if just half of those students had graduated, on average, they would have earned more than $4.1 billion in additional income every year. In addition, in these areas, state and local tax revenues in an average year would jump by a total of nearly $536 million.
“In these lean economic times, local businesses and governments are looking for any way they can to improve their financial situation,” said former West Virginia Governor and Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise. “These numbers demonstrate clearly that every consumer, business, and taxpayer benefits dramatically when we do what it takes to increase the number of students who graduate from high school with the skills they need to succeed in life. Indeed, the best economic stimulus is a high school diploma.”
The AEE study also found that 65 percent of the additional high school graduates would continue their education with many earning a PhD or other professional degree.
“As a business leader I’m committed to a quality education for all children and to strengthening the vitality of our communities,” said Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm®. “The new Alliance for Excellent Education model conclusively demonstrates that graduating from high school has significant positive economic and financial consequences for the business community and not just for the individual getting the education. Assuring that all of our students graduate from high school with the skills necessary to compete in a global economy is something all businesses-small and large-should see as a priority.”
While it is impossible to forecast precise values of economic benefits, the Alliance is confident that these figures fall within the range of benefits that each region could expect to see. The economic model used to estimate these economic benefits was developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education with the generous support of State Farm® and in partnership with Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.