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Eyeballing the Bang We Get for our Education Buck

Henry M. Levin and Clive R. Belfield examined the public costs of a high school dropout on Minnesota taxpayers, then looked at the cost of programs that boost high school graduation rates. The found a positive cost-benefit ratio.

Henry M. Levin and Clive R. Belfield examined the public costs of a high school dropout on Minnesota taxpayers, then looked at the cost of programs that boost high school graduation rates. The found a positive cost-benefit ratio. 

Levin whom is a professor here and Belfield, an assistant professor at Queens College, presented “Investments in K-12 Education for Minnesota: What Works” at an education summit sponsored by Growth and Justice, a Minnesota think tank that focuses on the state’s economy.  The bottom-line difference for the public purse between high school graduates and dropouts is stark. Over a working life of 45 years, each dropout costs taxpayers an extra $252,000 – paying $167,000 less in taxes and costing $48,900 more in health care, $31,800 more in the justice system and $4,100 more in state assistance programs.

The authors looked at programs and strategies that reduce the number of dropouts. Using only programs with known costs and results, some findings were:  Increasing teacher salaries by 10 percent raises high school graduation rates 5 percent. The cost for each additional graduate is $56,850. The benefit-cost ratio is 4.01.  Reducing class size in elementary schools increases high school graduation by 11 percent for all students and 18 percent for low-income students. The cost for each additional graduate is $116,720 across the board, but only $71,330 for low-income students. The overall benefit-cost ratio is 1.96, but 3.21 for low-income students.

Rep. Mindy Greiling, chairwoman of the Minnesota House K-12 Education Finance Committee, said the paper, as well as other cost-benefit analysis presented at the Growth and Justice conference, makes a strong case for more school funding.

This article appeared in the November 13, 2007 edition of the Minnesota2020.com.

http://www.mn2020.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BCFF15FBD-DAFD-437D-9D0D-74974BA39530%7D&DE

Published Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007

Eyeballing the Bang We Get for our Education Buck

Henry M. Levin and Clive R. Belfield examined the public costs of a high school dropout on Minnesota taxpayers, then looked at the cost of programs that boost high school graduation rates. The found a positive cost-benefit ratio. 

Levin whom is a professor here and Belfield, an assistant professor at Queens College, presented “Investments in K-12 Education for Minnesota: What Works” at an education summit sponsored by Growth and Justice, a Minnesota think tank that focuses on the state’s economy.  The bottom-line difference for the public purse between high school graduates and dropouts is stark. Over a working life of 45 years, each dropout costs taxpayers an extra $252,000 – paying $167,000 less in taxes and costing $48,900 more in health care, $31,800 more in the justice system and $4,100 more in state assistance programs.

The authors looked at programs and strategies that reduce the number of dropouts. Using only programs with known costs and results, some findings were:  Increasing teacher salaries by 10 percent raises high school graduation rates 5 percent. The cost for each additional graduate is $56,850. The benefit-cost ratio is 4.01.  Reducing class size in elementary schools increases high school graduation by 11 percent for all students and 18 percent for low-income students. The cost for each additional graduate is $116,720 across the board, but only $71,330 for low-income students. The overall benefit-cost ratio is 1.96, but 3.21 for low-income students.

Rep. Mindy Greiling, chairwoman of the Minnesota House K-12 Education Finance Committee, said the paper, as well as other cost-benefit analysis presented at the Growth and Justice conference, makes a strong case for more school funding.

This article appeared in the November 13, 2007 edition of the Minnesota2020.com.

http://www.mn2020.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BCFF15FBD-DAFD-437D-9D0D-74974BA39530%7D&DE

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