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The Economic Benefits of Reducing the High School Dropout Rate

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June 09, 2010 09:20 pm


Back in January, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a blockbuster new study that provided convincing evidence for reducing the high school dropout rate in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. The study, supported by State Farm ®, found that if high school dropout rates were cut in half in Baltimore, for example, which had a total of 9,700 students dropout in 2008, then the “new graduates” in the Baltimore metropolitan area would likely have:

  • Seen as much as $77 million in increased earnings in the average year;
  • Spent an additional $51 million and invested an additional $21 million each year;
  • Supported 500 new jobs and increased the gross regional product by as much as $95 million;
  • Boosted home sales with an additional $263 million in mortgage capacity over what they would have spent without a diploma;
  • Spent an additional $6 million each year purchasing vehicles; and
  • Boosted tax revenue by $12 million.

And that’s just in Baltimore…for one single class.

Today, the Alliance added to that body of research by releasing data for about forty more metro areas, bringing the total number of cities for which the Alliance has this data to over eighty-five.

This study goes to show that everyone in a community, even if they don’t have a child in school, can benefit from improving education and increasing the number of high school graduates.

As Alliance President Bob Wise likes to say, “These results demonstrate that the best economic stimulus package is a high school diploma.”

To view the complete list of cities and the data associated with them, visit:

High School Dropout Rates

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.