The staggering statistics mean that millions of young people enter adulthood without the preparation they need to become productive citizens. The future looks grim for the more than 1 million young people who drop out of high school in America each year.

  • More than 7,000 students drop out of school in America every day.
  • Nationwide only 75.5% of students earn their high school diplomas on time. This falls to 65% for African American and Hispanic students, and to 50% in some of our nation’s most challenged schools.
  • Among African-American and Hispanic students graduation rates are even lower.
  • While the graduation rate in the St. Louis Public School District has improved, the graduation rate for the 2010–2011 school year was 62.2%.

These statistics also mean that our nation’s future is at stake. And the impact of the dropout crisis is being felt in communities across America. Four out of 10 dropouts receive some kind of government assistance. And dropouts are eight times more likely to become incarcerated. The annual cost to educate a student is $9,644. The annual cost to incarcerate a person is $22,600.

Reducing the dropout rate by 10 percent a year would produce $191 million in crime-related savings and would provide additional state income of $103 million.

Investing in solutions to the dropout crisis would have a profound effect on our economy, on our national crime rate, and on our ability to compete in the global marketplace.