To demonstrate the impact that high school dropouts have on a particular state, the Alliance for Excellent Education has created economic impact fact sheets for every state and the District of Columbia. These fact sheets help policymakers and the public understand the extent of the economic costs to society of an educational system that serves so many students poorly. They also provide an overview of the potential economic benefits that a state could enjoy were it to invest in a high school system that prepares all high school students for graduation and success after high school.
The information included in the state economic impact fact sheets come from more detailed analyses conducted by the
- Health Care: Healthier and Wealthier Decreasing Health Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment argues that higher educational attainment improves a student's future income, occupational status, and social prestige, all of which contribute to improved individual health. The brief cites several reasons why: Americans with higher educational attainment have more insurance coverage, individuals who lack health insurance receive less medical care and have poorer health outcomes, and lower education levels generally lead to occupations with greater health hazards.
- Household Wealth: Hidden Benefits: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth demonstrates that if high school dropouts who currently head households in the U.S. had earned diplomas, the nation's economy would benefit from an additional $74 billion in wealth accumulated by families. The wealth gap between high school dropouts and high school graduates is even more severe than the better known income gap.
- Crime: Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings finds that reforming the nation's high schools could potentially increase the number of graduates and, as a result, significantly reduce the nation's crime-related costs and add billions of dollars to the economy through the additional wages they would earn. Increasing the graduation rate and college matriculation of male students by only 5 percent could lead to combined savings and revenue of almost $8 billion each year.
To access the economic impact fact sheet for your state, click on it in this map .