A Year's Worth of Arizona High School Dropouts Costs the State $7.6 Billion

Here's a side-effect of Arizona's perennially high rate of high-school dropouts -- economic costs of $7.6 billion.

That's the estimate provided this week by a study from the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable. Did we mention that's just one year's worth of dropouts?

See also:
-Arizona No Longer the Nation's Leader in High School Dropouts

The model used to estimate this cost has been used nationwide, but this is the first time it's been applied to Arizona.

The average high school dropout in Arizona will make $271,040 less than a high school graduate, another $8,020 in tax losses for governments, as cost the rest of society $48,000 on health care, $98,520 for crime, and $1,420 for welfare.

That's $443,260 in fiscal losses in Arizona for one high school dropout. Well, actually, the state saves $21,980 because that person's not going to college, so dropouts only create a burden of $421,280.

Multiply that by the 20 percent of Arizona kids who don't graduate high school (18,100 in 2012), and you have $7.6 billion in lifetime economic losses from one graduating class. Or non-graduating class.

The report also broke it down by city, showing the lifetime economic losses from non-graduates in the class of 2012 will cost Phoenix $1.4 billion.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley