Did you know that 75% of prison inmates are school dropouts? Increasing graduation rates of males by only 1% would save the country $1.4 billion in reduced crime related costs? With a H.S. diploma the median household wealth increases by 10 fold over a lifetime? With a college degree that number increases to 90 times more median household wealth? An estimated 13 million dropouts over the next decade will cost the nation $3 trillion in lost taxes, incarceration expenses, and social services? Latina/os have a much higher high school dropout rate than do blacks or whites?
Since Latina/os are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S., and Latina/o youth drop out at higher rates than do youth from other ethnic groups, there is a high probability that these depressing statistics will only get worse if nothing is done to curb this trend. Currently, Latina/os represent approximately 20% of the K-12 population. However, some estimates suggest that by the year 2050 Latina/o youth will represent 50% of the U.S. K-12 population. Dropout has enormous implications for the U.S. at every level. It reduces U.S. ability to be competitive in the Global market, increases the costs of social services, reduces tax revenues, extends the cycle of poverty to future generations, and increases human suffering.