Lending to what seems like a national epidemic, a new report indicates that on any given day, nearly 23 percent of all young Black men between 16 and 24 years old have dropped out of high school, are in prison or sitting in a juvenile detention center in the U.S.

The report “Consequences of Dropping Out of High School: Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers” also indicates that 23 out of 100 young Black men who dropped out of high school ended up in jail between 2006 to 2007. Not to mention, almost $300,000 was spent in taxpayer dollars for each dropout over their lifetime for incarceration, health care and welfare. Also, nearly 38 percent of young females who dropped out of high school between the ages of 16 to 24 are now single mothers.


“For too long, and in too many ways, young people across the country have been let down by the education system and by the adults responsible for their care and development,” said Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League. “Now is the time to increase the investments we make in young people, enhance the content, opportunities and supports we provide, and empower them to make better choices about both their individual future and the future of our nation. This report is another important step towards those ends.”

The statistics found in the report make a strong case for those pushing for a national education strategy that focuses on re-enrolling high school dropouts back into school and training programs that can lead to well-paying, fulfilling careers. The proposal is to create a national re-enrollment strategy that gets implemented into the educational agenda of the U.S. Department of Education similar to the No Child Left Behind program.—WLW

What do  you think should be done to help the drop out problem amoung young Black men?