The current dropout rate has increased every year for the past 12 years, and yet nobody has tried to put an end to this epidemic. Claims have been made in some very high places that no child would be left behind. Questions are know being raised as to whether or not children are being pushed further and further behind as a result of poor administration. Whatever the case may be we, in the 5th ward area of Houston, need answers fast or lose in the dropout race.
The students of the 21st century are in trouble… According to the Texas Education Agency, the cost to educate a single student for a year is approx. $7,900.00. This would cost the state between $6 million and $1.14 billion, assuming dropouts require on average 2 more years to graduate. The economic impact is still predicted to lose between $5.4 and $9.6 billion. Therefore with the state of Texas losing this vast amount from only 1 cohort, it is essential that policy makers begin making this issue top priority in an attempt to reverse the current trends and their implications on the state and already struggling 5th ward local economy.
Compared with graduates, dropouts are less likely to be employed, earn less when employed, pay less in taxes, receive more in direct welfare payments, and are more at risk of incarceration. Current prevention and intervention programs such as Communities in school and Gear Up are flagship programs that lack a checks and balance system to ensure each affiliate is accurately implementing their model. A multiyear longitudinal study needs to be financed to be more convincing, and prove the validity of these programs. Until then students continue to dropout and wreck havoc on the local economies.