The roughly 120,000 California students who each year fail to earn a high-school diploma before they turn 20 are costing the state $46.4 billion over the course of their lives, owing to their greater rates of unemployment, crime, welfare and state-funded medical care, as well as lost tax-revenues, according to a California Dropout Research Project report.
California's alternative charters have highest dropout rates
Only 25 California high schools, or 1%, produce more than 20% of its dropouts, and most of those are schools that specialize in students having trouble in traditional schools. "Is the school doing a bad job, or are the kids at risk anyway no matter what setting they're in?" asked researcher Russell Rumberger. "If that many kids are dropping out, it's unlikely that you're doing a good job."
Rumberger, R. (2008). California Dropout Research Project. Santa Barbara: UC SB.