The High Costs of High School Dropouts in Wisconsin

April 22, 2013

by Christian D’Andrea
MacIver Institute Education Policy Analyst

The .PDF version of the study can be seen here.

Executive Summary

High school dropouts adversely impact the state of Wisconsin each year–financially and socially. Dropouts’ lower incomes, high unemployment rates, increased need for medical care, and higher propensity for incarceration create a virtual vortex that consumes Wisconsinites’ tax dollars at a vicious rate. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on these high school dropouts every year.

Not only does the state spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high school dropouts, the Wisconsin economy missed out on $3.7 billion in 2011 due to a lower average income for residents without a diploma.

This study examines the state’s costs across three major state funding mechanisms: state tax collections, Medicaid expenses, and the costs of incarceration. All three aspects compose substantial parts of Wisconsin’s operating budget. In 2010 alone, prison expenses cost the state more than $874 million (1).

However, these costs could be reduced if the state had a smaller population of these under-educated adults. By eliminating a group of residents that typically relies more on state-based aid and is more likely to end up in prison, Wisconsin could save hundreds of millions of dollars each year. These funds could have instead been invested in other efforts to improve the lives of Wisconsinites across the Badger State.

There were more than 365,000 adults in Wisconsin that did not have a high school diploma in 2011. 91.6 percent of the state’s adults have a high school diploma or its equivalent. This is a higher number than the state’s average four-year graduation rates due to continuing education programs.

Dropouts cost the state an estimated $503 million in Medicaid costs, incarceration costs, and lost income tax in 2011 alone.

• $182,950,915.77 was lost in 2011 by way of reduced income tax revenue. High school dropouts, with an average estimated income of only $15,171.92, make more than $12,000 less than the average high school graduate each year.
• $150,101,539.14 was lost in 2011 by way of increased Medicaid costs. High school dropouts were two and a half times more likely to rely on state-backed health insurance, and were more likely to report that they had health problems.
• $170,095,538.86 was lost in 2011 by way of increased incarceration costs. High school dropouts were considerably more likely to spend time in prison than their peers. Reducing the amount of incarcerated Wisconsinites would not only cut down on prison costs, but also reduce other social costs while making the state a better place to live.

Every individual dropout cost Wisconsin more than $1,377 in 2011. Over the course of a dropout’s life, assuming they live to age 80 (Wisconsin’s average life expectancy), this comes out to an overall cost of $85,377.10 without accounting for inflation.


Educational attainment is a key predictor of a person’s level of success in life. Evidence shows that individuals with greater levels of education have higher-paying jobs, better general health, and a lower likelihood of being incarcerated. Those benefits have been cited by such educational watchdog groups as the Alliance for Excellent Education, reported in media outlets including Education Week (2), and reflected upon in newspapers across the United States (3).

Unfortunately, not only are there personal consequences of being less educated, but there are “neighborhood effects” as well. That is to say, dropouts typically have a negative impact on their state and its residents. State tax revenue, economic growth, Medicaid, and incarceration rates are affected by the state’s average education attainment.

For example, in New Jersey, high school dropouts were found to earn a total of $6 billion less than high school graduates each year (4). In Maryland, dropouts cost the state an additional $94 million in Medicaid services. Residents who failed to graduate high school cost that state more than $150 million per year in incarceration costs (5)

High school dropouts and their economic and social impacts attract national attention from think tanks, media outlets, and many other institutions. The Urban Institute and the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, Editorial Projects in Education at Education Week, and the Heritage Foundation are just some of the groups that have identified the major challenges associated with– and facing–high school dropouts (6).

An individual’s educational attainment plays a major role in determining his or her economic value and societal contributions. Individuals who drop out of high school generally have fewer opportunities and face greater challenges in the workforce –and in society in general –than their more highly educated counterparts. Those challenges include a greater likelihood of being unemployed or out of the labor force and having lower annual income (7). Dropouts’ average yearly income falls at least $10,000 behind graduates’ and even further behind residents with college degrees and beyond (8).

However, those effects are not restricted to dropouts’ take-home pay. Dropouts report having more health care issues than graduates, and as a result, they create a greater burden on their state’s Medicaid programs (9). Dropouts also make up a large portion of the United States prison population. American males without high school diplomas are two to five times more likely to be incarcerated in a given year than male high school graduates (10).

Through advances in research–particularly Dr. Lance Lochner’s and Dr. Enrico Moretti’s work examining the relationship between failure to graduate high school and incarceration–researchers have a better idea today in interpreting the significance of not completing high school (11).

The data analyzed in this study are sourced primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, considered the most accurate reflection of American populations and trends. For this study, information from the 2011 March Supplement–which includes data ranging from age
to education to housing trends–was used to determine the state’s population of residents by educational attainment, Medicaid use, average wages, employment status, and other factors.

However, the Census data do not include incarceration statistics. Therefore, data were taken from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Annual Reports and other sources, which include inmate counts, staffing figures, and budget numbers that reflected the costs of housing Wisconsin’s inmate population. Reviews of the state’s actual spending in 2011 also were instrumental in determining social costs. These were provided directly by the state.

This study uses Census data to calculate the overall number of residents in Wisconsin that do not have their high school diplomas. Thanks to equivalency programs and continuing education initiatives, this figure is higher than the state’s average four-year graduation rate. This gives us a better idea of the exact scope of influence that these under-educated residents have on spending and savings in the Badger State.

Wisconsin’s Graduation Rate

Wisconsin has traditionally been a national leader when it comes to graduating its high school students. Over the past 17 years, the state has improved its four-year graduation rate from 85.2 percent to 89.6 percent, overtaking Minnesota for regional honors and boasting a matriculation rate that has steadily been one of the top three in the country for the past two decades (12).

Figure 1: Wisconsin’s Four-Year Graduation Rates vs. the Midwest

Since these graduation rates only consider students that earn their diplomas in four years or less, these figures are lower than the actual number of Wisconsin adults that have their degree or its equivalent.

According to Census Data, nearly 91.6 percent of Wisconsin adults between age 18 and 85 had a high school diploma or better in 2011.

Figure 2: The Number of High School Graduates in Wisconsin in 2011

Currently, more than 3.9 million Wisconsinites have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Approximately 365,000 residents do not. These graduates had higher average salaries, were less likely to be incarcerated, and less likely to rely on Medicaid.

Despite these high marks, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The state also boasts one of the highest achievement gaps between white and African American students when it comes to earning a diploma. This is especially prevalent in Milwaukee, the city’s largest district and traditionally its lowest-performing one as well.

While Milwaukee Public Schools may be the most well known example of this, lagging graduation rates plague Wisconsin’s other large districts. Madison Metropolitan School District, for example, graduates a lower percentage of its African American students than Milwaukee does. Green Bay and Racine also lag behind Wisconsin’s largest district in terms of minority diploma rates (13).

Figure 3: Four-Year Graduation Rates by Student Group in Four Large Cities

The problem of high school dropouts has also sparked action at the highest levels of public education in Wisconsin. This is especially apparent with Superintendent Tony Evers’s Every Child a Graduate (ECG) program. Evers’s plan is to raise graduation rates and career and college readiness to ensure that Wisconsin’s public schools are producing students that not only advance to college, but also have the tools to thrive once they are enrolled.

The ECG will rely on a handful of statewide reforms to better prepare students. This includes raising high school graduation requirements, raising the benchmarks of the state’s standardized testing programs, identifying struggling schools for state-level intervention, and implementing systems to grade and evaluate both public schools and their teachers. Evers’s goal for 2017 is to increase four-year graduation rates to 92 percent statewide.

This goal would have multiple benefits for Wisconsin. A better-educated population would make the state an enticing target for developing companies. Fewer dropouts would also mean lower crime rates and higher income rates for a large portion of the state. As this study will show, the state stands to see a direct fiscal benefit of over half a billion dollars each year if Wisconsin was able to ensure that all students graduated from high school.

Working and Earnings

Educational attainment is often an accurate predictor of economic and professional success. High school dropouts earn significantly less over their lifetimes than their better-educated counterparts. Their lack of qualifications often eliminate them from consideration for high paying professions. This hinders the economic growth of a large portion of the state’s population.

According to the 2011 March Supplement, Wisconsin had 4,327,122 adults eligible to participate in the labor force. This did not include children or active members of the military. Of this group, 365,380 residents did not have a high school diploma. Of these more than 4.3 million Wisconsinites, 1,247,569 residents were not counted as members of the work force and were either a member of the armed forces or not actively pursuing employment.

The odds of a high school graduate eliminating him or herself from the work force were considerably lower than those of dropouts. There were 207,146 dropouts accounted for by the Census that were not part of the labor force, comprising 56.69 percent of the entire dropout population. There were also 1,040,514 high school grads that fell into the same category. They made up only 26.26 percent of their overall population.

Figure 4: Wisconsin Residents Considered Part of the Labor Force

This high volume of residents that no longer consider themselves part of the work force has a significant effect on unemployment rates. Dropouts are considerably less likely to receive unemployment benefits than their counterparts. However, while these unemployment figures are low, over 62 percent of Wisconsin dropouts either reported themselves as jobless or not actively seeking a job back in 2011. The effect of higher educational attainment on unemployment is shown below.

Figure 5: Unemployment and Work Force Participation by Educational Attainment, 2011

That effect ripples into annual adjusted income as well. The earning of these members of the work force varies dramatically based on their educational attainment. Dropouts in the work force, on average, earned over $12,000 less per year than high school graduates.

Figure 6: Average Estimated Income for Workers in Wisconsin, 2011

These data paint a telling picture. Dropouts are more likely to be out of the work force than their more-educated counterparts. At an annual average income of just over $15,000 per year, the dropouts that do have jobs are likely underemployed.

Figure 7: The Difference in Earnings Between High School Graduates and High School Dropouts

If all high school dropouts were instead graduates, there would be an infusion of better-qualified employees into the state’s workforce. Assuming that unemployment and work force participation rates remained the same, more than 70,000 Wisconsinites would have new full-time jobs. Another 149,000 would have better, higher-paying jobs.

Figure 8: Newly Employed Residents if All Dropouts Had Earned High School Diplomas

These new graduates would all be earning more in terms of annual income. For members that were not previously part of the workforce, this income is a substantial increase over what they had made before working. For members that previously held jobs, this is the $12,000 raise that was previously mentioned. In 2011, these dropouts earned a total of over $2.2 billion dollars. If these residents had all graduated from high school and earned the average income of a Wisconsin high school diploma holder, they would have earned nearly $6 billion. That’s a difference of over $3.7 billion between the two educational outcomes.

Figure 9: Dropout Earnings vs. High School Graduate Earnings, Assuming Employment Rates and Earnings Remain Static

*Due to the rounding of decimals, calculations in these figures may differ slightly from actual calculations.

Now that we know the number of new working residents and the number of residents that are now earning bigger paychecks, we can determine how much the state would benefit in terms of simple income tax revenue. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue would determine the income tax of each group differently due to their significant difference in overall income (14). For dropouts, the state formula would be:

$486.22 + ($15,171.92-$10,570) x 6.15%

However, Wisconsin offers standard deductions to reduce the tax burden on its citizens. For residents that earn between $15,000 and $15,500, this deduction is $9,618 for a single adult (15). This changes our formula to

($15171.92 – $9,618) x 4.60%

for an annual average per-person revenue of $255.48. This rate increases for the state’s high school graduates because they are earning more money each year. That formula is:

$1135.66 + ($27247.30-$21,130) x 6.5%

Like with the state’s dropouts, these higher-earning citizens also qualify for a standard deduction. The deduction for single adults that earned between 27,000 and 27,500 was $8,178. This changes our formula to

$486.22 + [($27,247.30-$8,178) – $10,570] x 6.15%

for an annual average per-person revenue of $1,008.62. The state receives nearly quadruple the amount of tax revenue from employed high school graduates than it does for dropouts.

Figure 10: Average Wisconsin State Income Tax Revenue by Educational Attainment

There are 365,380 dropouts in the state, but not all would get jobs or be members of the work force even if they had all graduated from high school. Some would be unemployed – about 10.7 percent according to Census data. Slightly fewer than 33 percent would be out of the work force altogether. However, that still leaves a big portion of residents who will have gone from having no source of income to earning a high school graduate’s salary. Another part of this population would be in line for higher paying jobs and big raises if they were high school graduates.

Figure 11: New Income Tax Revenue Estimate if All Dropouts Were High School Graduates

The table above shows that over 70,000 residents would go from having no job to being employed if all Wisconsinites graduated and unemployment and work force participation percentages remained static. Nearly 150,000 more adults would jump from low-income jobs to steadier paychecks as a result of their increased educational attainment. The mass of employed former dropouts would infuse the state with an average additional tax revenue of $753.14 per person each year. Unemployed dropouts that would now have jobs, assuming that employment and income rates remained static, would contribute $1,008.62 each year.

Across Wisconsin’s 365,380 dropouts, some of whom would remain out of the work force or unemployed, this comes out to a $500.71 per-person benefit to the state of Wisconsin. This would lead to an additional $182,950,915.77 in revenue for the state if taxation levels remained the same as well.


Prison funding in Wisconsin is a big item in the state’s budget. In 2010, the state set aside $800.3 million for the Department of Corrections. The DOC spent another $74.1 million in prison-related costs that fell outside the scope of this budget, according to a recent study by the Vera Institute of Justice (16). That includes services like administrative costs and hospital care for inmates.

According to a 2012 report from the Department of Justice, the average daily prison population in Wisconsin was 22,724 inmates in 2010 (17). This was down slightly from 2008’s figure of 23,341 prisoners. At a cost of $874.4 million in the state budget, this means that each inmate cost Wisconsin an average of $38,479 per year over this budgeted period.

After an increase of inmates in the early 2000s, the state’s prison population has leveled out in recent years. There were 20,754 inmates in 2000, and that number grew to 22,959 by 2004. However, since then that figure has grown by under 200 prisoners in 2009. This includes a decrease in the overall population in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (18).

A large number of these incarcerated residents are also high school dropouts. There has been much research examining the connection between criminal activity and education. Dropouts are more than eight times as likely as high school graduates to be imprisoned in their lifetimes. Residents with lower levels of education are also more likely to be drug users: Approximately 47 percent of inmates incarcerated for drug-related offenses failed to graduate high school. That may show an observatory link between fewer employment options and a higher likelihood of drug trafficking.

Studies have shown that higher levels of education in a population have a strong connection with lower crime and incarceration rates. The most telling research, conducted by Lochner and Moretti, shows that dropouts are more than twice as likely as a Wisconsin high school graduate
to be incarcerated in a given year (19). Because there is no Census data that individually account for criminal activity and inmate status, Lochner’s and Moretti’s formula is used to determine the impact of dropouts on the state correctional program.

Since we only have data on the incarceration rates for males, this analysis is limited to just that portion of the state’s prison population – though males made up 94 percent of the state’s prisoners in 2009 (20). In 2010, Wisconsin housed 21,460 male inmates, but had 22,724 incarcerated residents in all. At $37,462 per prisoner, the estimated annual cost to keep these inmates under lockdown in the state was $803,934,520.

Figure 12: Wisconsin Prison Statistics

Without recent prison census data, we can still predict the costs of dropouts on the state’s incarceration program by using Lochner and Moretti’s research, the 2011 March Supplement, and a 2009 study from Northeastern University that examined the relationship between dropouts and imprisonment rates amongst young adults. However, this limits our projection to only males and only members of the population that reported their race as either “white” or “African-American.”

These figures are bolstered by a startling discovery made by Andrew Sum and a group of researchers at Northeastern University. Their study, The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School; Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers, took a deeper look into the imprisonment rates of young men between the ages of 16 and 24. They found that more than one in five African-American dropouts is likely to be imprisoned (21).

Figure 13: Andrew Sum’s Incarceration Rates by Ethnicity

Wisconsin has 354,411 males between the ages of 16 and 24. If you limit this group to men aged 18-24 in order to discount struggling students that may still return to school, you end up with 285,749 adults.

Of these young men, 40,588 have no diploma. If you apply Sum’s imprisonment averages across this group, you end up with 3,789 likely inmates who are dropouts between the ages of 18 and 24.

Figure 14: Sum’s Incarceration Rates Applied to Wisconsin’s Young Adult Population

Unfortunately, Sum’s study doesn’t report on the incarceration rates of high school graduates. For that, we’ll have to use Lochner and Moretti’s estimates. This is an imperfect comparison thanks to the specific age groups that are singled out and the difference in time frame for data collection, but it should still be enough to provide a conservative estimate of how many fewer inmates between the ages of 18 and 24 Wisconsin would have if all students graduated.

Figure 15: The Reduction of Incarcerated Young Adults, According to Lochner and Moretti’s Prison Rates for High School Graduates

This change leads to a decrease of 3,529 inmates between the ages of 18 and 24 in Wisconsin. However, this also fails to take into account the average length of their sentences and other factors that may make incarceration rates for males aged 18-24 higher than the rest of the adult population. As a result, this estimate of how many fewer inmates would result from a zero dropout rate may overstate the impact amongst this age group. Still, it’s a reasonable estimate based on the incarceration rates devised by Sum as well as Lochner and Moretti.

That leaves the rest of the Wisconsin prison population to deal with.

Currently, there are 116,259 white males aged 25-85 who do not have their high school degree in Wisconsin. There are another 11,666 African American adult males who fall under the same category. Using these figures as a baseline, we can use the probabilities derived in Lochner and Moretti’s report to come up with an estimate of how many male inmates currently lack a high school diploma. That average is slightly under four percent for African American men, and approximately 1.2 percent for White men.

Figure 16: Lochner and Moretti’s Incarceration Rates for Adult High School Dropouts

When we apply Lochner and Moretti’s averages, we find another 1,862 male inmates in Wisconsin’s prisons that don’t have high school diplomas. When combined with the estimates from Sum’s study above, this creates an estimated total of 5,651 dropouts that currently call a jail cell their home. That’s more than 26 percent of the total Wisconsin male prison population.

According to that research, incarceration rates drop significantly for adults that have graduated from high school. For white male adults, their likelihood of incarceration in Wisconsin drops to .6372 percent. For African American males, their drop is even steeper, to 1.9696 percent.

Figure 17: Wisconsin Incarceration Estimates if All Adults Were Graduates, According to Lochner and Moretti

This estimate suggests that there would be approximately 891 fewer male inmates in Wisconsin aged 25-85 if all students graduated from high school. In all, that would create a potential reduction of 4,420 prisoners that the state would have to worry about funding each year. At an average cost per inmate of $38,479, this would result in an overall annual savings of more than $170 million.

Figure 18: Estimated Savings from Incarceration Costs if All Dropouts Were High School Graduates

With 365,380 dropouts in Wisconsin, the average additional incarceration cost per inmate was $465.53 in 2011.

There are also several other benefits to Wisconsin aside from just a decrease in incarceration costs. Less crime and a safer environment would reduce state spending in other areas as well as promote growth amongst local communities. Less funding would have to be directed to budget items like law enforcement and judicial concerns.

The fiscal effects of these crime-related savings outside of incarceration costs were calculated by the Alliance for Excellent Education back in 2006. Then, Wisconsin stood to save nearly $48 million each year thanks to a reduction in court costs and security concerns. It stands to reason that this benefit would have increased by FY 2011, from which most of this study’s data is gleaned. Those savings would likely bring the state’s overall benefit from reducing spending based on crime to over $200 million each year (22).


The cost of medical care coverage in Wisconsin is another significant source of spending at the state level. According to Census Data, there were 4,327,122 residents in Wisconsin that were age 18 or older in 2011. Of these Wisconsinites, 458,734 relied on Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus as their primary health care provider.

Figure 19: Medicaid Recipients in 2011 According to Educational Attainment

Despite making up 8.4 percent of the state’s population, high school dropouts make up 18.9 percent of the state’s Medicaid recipients. As the chart below shows, these adults have a significantly higher probability of needing Medicaid coverage than residents that have their degrees.

Figure 20: Wisconsin Adults that Relied on Medicaid According to the 2011 March Supplement of the U.S. Census

Only nine percent of Wisconsinites that have a high school diploma or better relied on Medicaid in 2011. This figure jumped up to nearly 24 percent when limited to the state’s dropouts.

Figure 21: Medicaid Coverage by Educational Attainment

Aside from a small increase between high school graduates and adults with some college experience, the likelihood of a person relying on Medicaid decreases as educational attainment increases. A dropout is more than 200 percent more likely to require Medicaid assistance than a high school graduate. They are almost four times as likely to need government assistance than an adult who has a bachelor’s degree.

If we were to assume that these percentages would remain static despite an influx of new graduates, we can come up with an estimate of how many Wisconsinites would need Medicaid coverage if there were no high school dropouts in the state.

Figure 22: Estimated Decrease in Medicaid Recipients if All High School Dropouts Were Graduates

There would be 46,000 fewer adults on Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus in Wisconsin if every student had graduated from high school. However, this is a conservative estimate of the reduction of residents that would be reliant on BadgerCare Plus. Since our Census data does not include children, it would be impossible to get a direct figure of how many children are on Medicaid that are the offspring of high school dropouts. That large subset of recipients is not counted in this estimate.

As a result, we can derive a conservative estimate of the state’s annual savings only from adults aged 18-85. If we assume an average cost of $270 per month for adults, the average annual cost of state-sourced health coverage in 2012-2013 was $3,240 per individual. If every high school dropout was a graduate and the Medicaid reliance rates remained static, this would lead to a yearly cost decrease of over $150 million.

Figure 23: Estimated Medicaid Savings if All Dropouts Were High School Graduates

With 365,380 dropouts residing in Wisconsin, the average additional cost to the state per dropout in 2011 was $410.81.


High school dropouts deprive the state of resources in several different ways. Two major costs associated with this relatively small group of citizens come from incarceration and medical care costs. Another problem lies in the lost tax revenue from a population that has traditionally been associated with low rates of employment and small annual incomes.

As a result, the state spent more than $320 million on costs related to prison and health care expenses for its dropouts in 2011. If these dropouts were employed and compensated at the same rates as the state’s average high school graduates, they would have contributed an additional $182.9 million to the state through taxes. As a result, Wisconsin lost out on a total of over half a billion dollars that could have been committed to other causes in 2011.

Figure 24: Overall 2011 Savings Through Tax Revenue, Medicaid, and Incarceration Costs

With approximately 365,380 dropouts in Wisconsin, this cost comes out to nearly $1,400 per person. There are approximately 66,238 high school seniors in the state in 2013. If graduation rates drop by one percent for this class, that would put an additional burden of $9,121,330.24 on the state in terms of lost revenue and personal costs each year.

Figure 25: Estimated Per-Dropout Costs

It’s clear that high school dropouts cost themselves several opportunities to succeed in life thanks to a low level of educational attainment. This portion of the population also drains the state of resources that could be poured into education, capital projects, and other important Wisconsin projects. More importantly, these former dropouts would have more opportunities to improve their own quality of life.

Works Cited

1. The Vera Institute. Wisconsin Fact Sheet,
2. Education Week, “Dropout Costs Priced for 50 Major U.S. Cities,” Education Week. h29.html&destination= articles/2009/11/25/13report-b1.h29.html&levelId=2100 (Accessed January 24, 2009).
3. Nanette Asimov, “High School Dropouts Cost State Billions,” The San Francisco Gate, February 2008. 02-28/news/17141375_1_high-school-dropouts-california-dropout- research-project-school-diploma (Accessed January 2010). Neva Grant, “Helping Dropouts Break the Cycle of Poverty,” National Public Radio, March 2006. story.php?storyId=5300726 (Accessed January 2010). Mary Sanchez, “High Dropout Rate Hits All of Us in Pocketbook,” The Kansas
City Star, November 2009. ry/1589501.html (Accessed January 2010).
4. Brian Gottlob, The High Cost of High School Failure in New Jersey. (The Foundation for Educational Choice, 2008), 14.
5. Justin Hauke, The High Cost of Maryland’s Dropout Rate. (The Foundation for Educational Choice, 2008), 19.
6. The Alliance for Excellent Education, “The High Cost of High School Dropouts,” The Alliance for Excellent Education. http://www.all4ed. org/files/archive/publications/HighCost.pdf. The Center for Labor Market Studies, “The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School.” Northeastern University, uments/The_Consequences_of_Dropping_Out_of_High_School. pdf. The Heritage Foundation, “High School Dropouts: How Much of a Crisis?” The Heritage Foundation. search/Reports/1990/08/BG781High-School-Dropouts-How-Much- of-a-Crisis
7. Gary Orfield et al. Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis, Cambridge, MA: The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Contributors: Advocates for Children of New York, The Civil
8. Andrew Sum and Paul Harrington, “Left Behind in America: The Nation’s Dropout Crisis,” The Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, 2007; Jennifer Laird et al., “Dropout rates in the Unites States: 2002 and 2003,” U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2006.
9. Christopher Callahan et. Al., “A Longitudinal model of Health Insurance, An Update: Employer Sponsored Insurance, Medicaid, and the Uninsured,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working paper, 2005.
10. Mark Cohen, “The Monetary Value of Saving a High-Risk Youth,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 14, 2002.
11. Lance Lochner and Enrico Moretti, The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self Reports. University of California-Berkley. October 2003.
12. U.S. Dep’t of Education. Indicator 32: Public High School Graduation Rates.
13. Wisconsin Information Network for Successful Schools. What Are the High School Completion Rates?
14. WI Dep’t of Revenue. Calculation of Wisconsin Income Tax Tables For Tax Year 2012,
15. WI Dep’t of Revenue. Forms 1A and WI-Z Instructions.
16. The Vera Institute. Wisconsin Fact Sheet,
17. U.S. Dep’t of Justice. Prisoners in 2010,
18. U.S. Dep’t of Justice. Table 347. Prisoners Under Jurisdiction of Federal or State Correctional Authorities–Summary by State: 1990 to 2009,
19. Lance Lochner and Enrico Moretti, The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self Reports. University of California-Berkley. October 2003.
20. House, Emily Anne The High Cost of Wisconsin’s Dropout Rate. MacIver Institute and Friedman Foundation, April 2009.
21. Sum, et al. The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School; Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers. Northeastern University, October 2009