Magazine article USA TODAY

High School Dropouts Cost Country Billions

Magazine article USA TODAY

High School Dropouts Cost Country Billions

Article excerpt

The U.S. loses hundreds of billions of dollars each year when young people fail to graduate from high school, with costs reflected in lost productivity and tax revenues, as well as additional burdens to the health care, public assistance, and criminal justice systems. The nation faces reduced economic competitiveness in the near future, as well as diminished civic engagement among those most directly affected by inadequate education--the growing proportion of the population that comes from low-income, minority backgrounds. Those are the findings of The Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, New York.

"Educational inequity is first and foremost an issue of justice and fairness, but the research findings we've presented show that it is also an issue that affects all of us in our daily lives--and will affect our children even more so," maintains Henry M. Levin, professor of economics and education.

Among the findings:

* A high school dropout earns about $260,000 less over a lifetime than a high school graduate and pays about $60,000 less in taxes. …

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