Each year, America spends more money on education yet we are losing more and more American students. While we agree that no American child should be left behind, written off or ignored, far too many of our poorest and minority students today still lack adequate resources to learn The U.S. economy will continue to suffer, crime will go up and our children won’t be able to find a job or afford a house without dramatic changes. Education is an issue that affects our national strength and security. If we do not dramatically create new opportunities to educate our youth, our standard of living will decline, our democracy will be at risk and we will continue to fall behind as other countries far surpass us.
- Dropouts from the class of 2007 will cost our nation more than $300 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity.
- Dropouts contribute about $60,000 less in federal and state income taxes. Each cohort of dropouts costs the U.S. $192 billion in lost income and taxes.
- 65 percent of United States convicts are dropouts. Lack of education is one of the strongest predictors of criminal activity.
- A dropout is more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as a high school graduate and nearly twenty times as likely as a college graduate.
- For each additional year of schooling, the odds that a student will someday commit a crime like murder or assault are reduced by almost one-third.
- Each year, the U.S. spends $9,644 per student compared to $22,600 per prison inmate.
- Increasing the high school completion rate by just one percent for all men ages
20 to 60 would save this country up to $1.4 billion per year in reduced costs from crime.
We are losing a generation of American minds. American students are not learning the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world. Today:
- 70 percent of our eighth graders are not proficient in reading and most of them will never catch up.
- Some 1.1 million American high school students drop out every year.
Children need knowledge and life-skills to be prepared for life. Educated people make better neighbors, colleagues, parents and responsible citizens. Quality education is an American “right,” and our children deserve nothing less.
- The poverty rate for families headed by dropouts is more than twice that of
families headed by high school graduates.
- Nearly 44 percent of dropouts under age 24 are jobless, and the unemployment rate of high school dropouts older than 25 is more than three times that of college graduates.
- Over a lifetime, dropouts earn $260,000 less than high school graduates.
After World War II, the United States had the number 1 high school graduation rate.
- American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.
- America’s top math students rank 25th out of 30 countries when compared with top students elsewhere in the world.
- By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries.
- 68 percent of 8th graders can’t read at their grade level, and most will never catch up.