The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., published an article earlier this week showing the economic benefits to the Inland region if the dropout rate for area high school students in the class of 2010 had been reduced by 50%.
The national Alliance for Excellent Education estimated that 27,700 students in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area dropped out from the class of 2010.
By cutting that number in half, an additional 13,850 more high school graduates would invest about $51 million a year and spend an estimated $134 million more than their likely earnings without a high school diploma, according to the study.
“Without an educated workforce, the economic viability of our county and region is in jeopardy,” San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Gary Thomas said Friday. “The statistics from the Alliance for Excellent Education show that.”
The research released Thursday for 16 metro areas in California based on an economic model developed by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. It said 38 percent of students don’t graduate from the Inland region’s 113 high schools on time with a regular diploma.
By the midpoint of their careers, the additional hypothetical graduates would likely spend up to $585 million more on home purchases they would spend without a diploma and spend up to an additional $17 million on vehicle purchase during an average year.
Their additional spending and investments combined would likely be enough to support 1,650 new jobs and increase the gross regional product by as much as $251 million by the time they reach their career midpoints. They would pay an extra $23 million a year in taxes too, the study says.
The study used data for every state from Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit research group that started Education Week magazine.
See here for more on the dropout model and EMSI’s work with All4Ed.