A report (pdf) from the Alliance for Excellent Education puts some numbers on the cost of kids dropping out of high school and there were more than 46,000 of them in North Carolina last year.
The lost lifetime earnings for those students comes to $12 billion. The state would save almost $500 million in health care costs over the students’ lifetime if they would have graduated.
If the male graduation rate increased by just five percent per year, it would mean a total of $233 million to the state economy in higher earnings and less spending on the criminal justice system.
Most importantly, think about what it would mean for the lives of the kids who left high school with a diploma instead of heading to the streets at 16 without one.