Report: Dropouts cost Wyoming economic growth

2011-04-27T23:45:00Z Report: Dropouts cost Wyoming economic growthBy JACKIE BORCHARDT Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
April 27, 2011 11:45 pm  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — Local economies lose when students don't graduate from high school, according to a report released earlier this week.

The study from the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national nonprofit education policy group, projects the economic impact of Casper and Cheyenne students who would have graduated in 2010, estimating individual earnings, home sales, tax revenue and other economic indicators.

The study estimates 400 high school students from each city dropped out before they would have graduated in 2010. A report released in March for the whole state estimated 1,000 dropouts during a four-year period.

Economic benefits were calculated from research linking high school graduates to employment and spending statistics. In March, the unemployment rate was highest among those without a high school diploma at 15.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By cutting the number of dropouts in half, the state would have seen an $8.1 million boost in economic growth by the time students reached the midpoints of their careers. An extra 1,000 graduates from the class of 2010 would spend an additional $4.9 million, not including home purchases, and invest $1.8 million more, according to the report.

If 200 more students had graduated in each metro area, Casper and Cheyenne would have received a boost from:

-- Spending more on home purchases than they would without a diploma (Casper, $3.2 million; Cheyenne, $4.5 million);

-- Increasing the gross regional product by the time they reach the midpoint of their careers (Casper, $1.7 million; Cheyenne, $2.3 million);

-- Earning more in an average year than they would without a diploma (Casper, $1.4 million; Cheyenne, $1.9 million).

The Natrona County School District's dropout rate has been steadily falling since 2006-07, when 8.3 percent of ninth- through 12th-grade students disenrolled from high school. In 2008-09, the most recent calculation available, 6.3 percent of Natrona County high school students disenrolled. Statewide, the rate dropped to 3.8 percent.

Decreasing the number of dropouts and improving the graduation rate begins before students set foot in a high school, Superintendent Joel Dvorak told school board members Monday.

"Kids don't automatically get dumb when they get into a high school," Dvorak said. "Kids don't automatically get disengaged when they get in a high school."

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Director of WIA plans retirement

11 hours agoLoading…

UW hires dean for engineering college

12 hours agoLoading…
Balow seeks to bring strength and stability

Balow seeks to bring strength and stability

13 hours agoLoading…
Bison hunt in Jackson Hole sets record

Bison hunt in Jackson Hole sets record

18 hours agoLoading…

Obama methane plan draws little reaction in Wyoming

20 hours agoLoading…

Committee hears conflicting testimony over 'right to try'

January 24, 2015 12:20 pmLoading…
UW surveys show high student satisfaction

UW surveys show high student satisfaction

January 24, 2015 11:00 amLoading…

Senate committee softens language in study of federal lands

January 23, 2015 7:00 pmLoading…

Bill for minimum wage increase fails

January 23, 2015 3:02 pmLoading…
Wyoming police department outfits officers with body cams

Wyoming police department outfits officers with body cams

January 23, 2015 12:56 pmLoading…
House passes judicial age bill

House passes judicial age bill

January 23, 2015 10:07 amLoading…
Casper appeals smoking decision to Wyoming Supreme Court

Casper appeals smoking decision to Wyoming Supreme Court

January 23, 2015 9:32 amLoading…
Bill to allow unregulated food advances

Bill to allow unregulated food advances

January 23, 2015 8:48 amLoading…
Wyoming Lottery sees biggest winner at $25,000

Wyoming Lottery sees biggest winner at $25,000

January 23, 2015 8:10 amLoading…

State and area deaths

January 23, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Grizzly bear-human conflicts rise in Wyoming in 2014

Grizzly bear-human conflicts rise in Wyoming in 2014

January 22, 2015 4:56 pmLoading…

Wyoming House moves to allow national science standards

January 22, 2015 4:51 pmLoading…

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Deals & Offers

Featured Businesses