High school dropouts cost US $319B over lifetime

CAROL’S SUMMARY: Virginia Governor, Bob Wise, says that the high school drop-outs in the class of 2008 will cost the nation $319 billion over their lifetime in lost or low wages, health-care and prison costs. Currently, 30% of all high students totaling 1.2 million, do not graduate from high school. For minority students, that number is a staggering 50%.

So, what can we do to start early and often to prevent this alarming trend from continuing? For one thing, we need to have a level playing field for minority students and at-risk students who may not have the resources at home to succeed. Schools featuring advisory classes can focus on the emotional, social and academic development of every child. The organization I founded, LifeBound, has books and resources to help every student discover their gifts, talents and abilities as well as their educational passion. Beginning in fifth grade, we need to emphasize success and transition so that we can prepare students for success—not failure or even average performance—in the global world they are about to enter.


ATLANTA (AP) — High school dropouts from the class of 2008 will cost the country $319 billion over their lifetime, former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise said during a panel discussion Thursday.

That number includes the income the students will have lost because of a lack of education and what they’ll cost taxpayers in publicly funded healthcare, prison stays and other services.

“The first group affected when a student drops out of high school is the student themselves, but there’s another group affected as well,” Wise told the room full of teens from across the country. “It’s the rest of us. It’s you, me, all of us.”

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