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Social benefits and costs of dropout recovery

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: This article analyzes the social benefits and costs of dropping out of school. Successful rehabilitation depends on subsequent high school graduation. The analysis is based on established estimates of the social costs of dropping out of school, including reduced government taxes and increased social costs of welfare, health care and crime. When dropouts recover, these potential costs are considered benefits. The large dropout recovery program provides settings for analysis. Pay close attention to accurately estimating the number of students who cannot graduate without the course in the evaluation year and the resulting public cost of continuing education. The estimated benefits are weighed against the total annual public cost of the plan,hich operates in 65 school centers and commands an annual budget of about $70 million. The estimated benefit-cost ratio for this program is 3 to 1, a figure comparable to benefit-cost ratio estimates reported in studies of dropout prevention. The sensitivity of this conclusion to specific assumptions within the analysis is discussed.

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