Friday, August 17, 2007

Getting to the crux of what we do about dropouts

Slog through the The High Cost of South Carolina’s Low Graduation Rate, and the first two thirds of the report document the dreary details of the cost of half the students in South Carlina, half, dropping out before they finish high school. This is among the worst in the nation. Dropouts earn considerably less; they reduce tax revenue; they disproportionately use Medicare; they are twice as likely to be incarcerated.

Finally on page 22 you get to the crux of a part of the solution for improving the dropout rate: The Public Benefits of School Choice. Where school choice has been tried, not only do students who actively choose where to go to school benefit from having that choice, but in fact the local public schools improve as well. The proposal makes a compelling case that:
Even a modest school choice program would reduce South Carolina public school dropouts by up to 3,100 each year, saving up to $10 million annually.
Tell me again why we shouldn't be dramatically increasing the variety of education options available to students in South Carolina.

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