Our Biggest Problem

If you think about it, education is at the root of many of the issues affecting US Hispanics, such as teen pregnancy, crime, poverty and health issues. That is our biggest problem.

Hispanics have the highest high school dropout rate in the U.S. High school dropouts are everyone’s concern.

The nation’s economy and competitive standing suffer with high dropout rates. Among developed countries, the United States ranks eighteenth in high school graduation rates and fifteenth in college graduation rates. Dropouts represent a tremendous waste of human potential and productivity, and reduce the nation’s ability to compete in today’s global economy.

High school dropouts are a drain on the economies of each state and the nation.

Lower local, state and national tax revenue are perhaps the most politically obvious consequence of higher dropout rates; even when dropouts are employed, they earn significantly lower wages than graduates. State and local economies suffer further when they have less educated populations, as they find it more difficult to attract new business investment. Simultaneously, these entities must spend more on social programs when their populations have lower education levels.

How High School Dropouts Affect Us All:

  • It Affects the Nation’s Competitive Edge
  • Fewer Tax Dollars are Contributed to the Economy
  • Dropouts have Higher Health Costs
  • Dropouts Drive Up Criminal Justice Costs
  • Dropouts Draw Heavily on Welfare and Public Assistance
  • Dropouts are Less Likely to Vote or Engage in Civic Activities

Relevant Statistics
Only 58% of Hispanic students will graduate on time with a high school diploma,
compared to 76% of white non-Hispanic students.Latino men have an even lower graduation rate – 49%.

High school graduates earn over twice as much as high school dropouts in income.
Each dropout, over his or her lifetime, costs the nation approximately $260,000;
unless high schools are able to graduate their students at higher rates, more than 12 million students will drop out during the course of the next decade. The result will be a loss to the nation of $3 trillion. Each group of 18-year-olds who fail to graduate forfeits $156 billion in lifetime
earning, and costs the nation $58 billion in lost income tax revenue.

The Positive Impact of Education
Everyone benefits from increased graduation rates. High school graduates provide both economic and social benefits to society.
The graduates themselves, on average, will earn higher wages and enjoy more comfortable and secure lifestyles.
At the same time, the nation benefits from their increased purchasing power, collects higher tax receipts, and sees higher levels of worker productivity.

High school graduates live longer, are less likely to be teen parents, and are more likely to raise healthier, better-educated children. In fact, children of parents who graduate from high school are themselves far more likely to graduate from high school than are children of parents without a high school degree.
High school graduates are also less likely to commit crimes, rely on government health care, or use other public services such as food stamps or housing assistance. Additionally, high school graduates engage in civic activity, including voting and volunteering in their communities at higher levels.

As more Latinos graduate from high school they will be better off financially and their children will most probably also finish high school.
Extended outcomes of a “stay in school” this program include:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Increased Tax Revenue
  • Increased Quality of Life
  • Decreased Teen Pregnancy
  • Massive Reduction in Social Welfare Costs
  • Decrease in Crime
  • Increase in Hispanic Voter Participation

A serious communication effort needs to be developed that will reach out to our community and overcome the main barriers to staying in school:

  • Finances
  • “Not for me” Attitude
  • Parental Involvement

Our community is locked in a detrimental cycle that keep them down:
Poverty>Hispanic Teens Drop Out>Their Children Drop Out>Stay in Poverty.
We need to at least try to break that cycle for everyone’s sake.