High School Dropouts Cost Economy Billions

01/26/2012 09:53 am ET | Updated Mar 27, 2012
  • HENRY M. LEVIN and CECILIA E. ROUSE The New York Times

ONLY 21 states require students to attend high school until they graduate or turn 18. The proposal President Obama announced on Tuesday night in his State of the Union address -- to make such attendance compulsory in every state -- is a step in the right direction, but it would not go far enough to reduce a dropout rate that imposes a heavy cost on the entire economy, not just on those who fail to obtain a diploma.

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