Education and the Economy: Boosting Local, State, and National Economies by Improving High School Graduation Rates
In a time of shrinking state and local revenues, and in the wake of a national economic crisis that most profoundly affected those with the least education, education reform must be viewed as a key strategy for strengthening the economy. Improving educational outcomes creates a wave of economic benefits that include boosting individual earnings, home and auto sales, job and economic growth, spending and investment, and tax revenues. Investing in turning dropouts into graduates will benefit all citizens, including bankers, auto dealers, realtors, and storeowners, not simply students or parents with children in school.
Nationally, more than 7,000 students become dropouts every school day, adding up to over one million students, annually, who will not graduate from high school with their peers. In addition to the moral imperative to provide every student with an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream, the nation’s economic security now requires many more students to graduate from high school.
The Alliance for Excellent Education, with generous support from State Farm®, analyzed the economies of 220+ metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), all fifty states, and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits the MSAs and states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a sophisticated economic model developed by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., an economics firm specializing in socioeconomic impact tools, the Alliance calculated economic projections for these MSAs and states. To access these findings for your state or MSA, click on the appropriate link below.