Impact of the Gap

Closing the achievement gap is both an economic and a moral imperative.

Consider this:

Many low-achieving students drop out of school, forfeiting the knowledge they need to join a skilled workforce. Those who finish high school and go on to college or career training programs earn twice as much as dropouts and are far less likely to be unemployed. The difference in the net fiscal contributions of a high school graduate vs. a high school dropout in Connecticut is $518,000 over that person’s lifetime. Clearly, closing the achievement gap would improve Connecticut’s economy and quality of life. For all of us.

The achievement gap affects us all:

  • In Connecticut, more than 8,000 students drop out of high school each year costing the State more than $4 billion lost revenues and increased social service costs over the life of those students.
  • Each high school dropout costs the state of Connecticut more than $500,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. This is because those without a high school diploma earn less and require far more social services than their peers who graduate.
  • 34% of the student population in CT—more than 190,000 students—live in low-income situations, only 60% of them are likely to graduate from high school.
  • A student who drops out of high school is 3x more likely to be incarcerated than a high school graduate
  • Over half all students who graduate from high school require remediation – only 44% graduate college- or career-ready.