The Alliance for Excellent Education released a report and individual state profiles this week that show how cutting the high school dropout rate can have a positive impact on the economy. Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates found that if the high school graduation rate were cut in half, these 650,000 “new graduates” would benefit the economy in some of the following ways:
- $7.6 Billion in Increased Earnings;
- $5.6 Billion in Increased Spending;
- 54,000 New Jobs;
- $9.6 Billion in Economic Growth; and
- $713 Million in Increased Tax Revenue
The dollar amounts included in the report represent the economic returns from cutting the dropout rate for only one high school class. The Alliance points out that increasing the graduation rates for future classes would create cumulative benefits that would be exponentially greater. Later this spring, the Alliance will release similar projections for metropolitan areas.
“Decisions on how to close budget gaps and build a strong economy must begin with ensuring better educational outcomes for the nation’s students,” said Alliance president Bob Wise. “There’s been a lot of talk about how budget deficits threaten our children’s future, but the best way to cut budget deficits is to cut dropout rates.”
You can access information about the economic benefits of cutting the graduation rate in your state here.