Dropping out of high school comes at a high price, for students and the state.
A report released by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable says that every high school class that doesn't graduate costs the state of Arizona over $7 billion per year in lost economic activity. Lost potential earnings, higher healthcare and crime related costs, and lost tax revenue all factor in to this figure.
Every individual dropout in Arizona costs the state $421,280 in lost economic activity. That number is even higher in Phoenix, with every individual costing the city $463,500. That amounts to a $1.42 billion loss for the city.
Mayor Greg Stanton hopes that this report serves as a wake-up call to the state of Arizona. He says that it is crucial for everyone to work together to get every student to graduate high school. His plans to tackle the dropout rate include reading help for students falling behind, and a new program sponsored by the Phoenix library that lets dropouts go back and get a high school diploma.
According to the report, if the high school dropout rate is cut in half, the state's economic losses will be cut in half as well.