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The Economics of Investing in Opportunity Youth

September 1, 2012

The economic impact of opportunity youth is felt by the youth themselves, by taxpayers, and across all society. Opportunity youth are less likely to be employed and more likely to rely on government supports. They are in worse health and are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. Purely from an economic perspective -- leaving aside important questions of social equity -- opportunity is being lost on a large scale. The aggregate economic losses associated with opportunity youth are enormous. There are immediate losses during youth and there are long-term losses as these youth fail to prosper. These losses can be calculated from various perspectives: for the taxpayer and for society; by youth subgroups; by level of government; and for individual communities. To avoid perpetuating these losses over current and future cohorts it is critical to understand the policy context for opportunity youth.

Adolescent Literacy Programs: Costs of Implementation

September 15, 2009

Reviews the literature on implementation of educational reforms and compares implementation processes and costs at schools that have adopted one of three literacy reforms. Includes recommendations for detailed resource planning and cost accounting.

The Return on Investment for Improving California's High School Graduation Rate

August 1, 2007

Reviews a range of educational investments to improve the high school graduation rate in California, and calculates the costs to taxpayers of delivering these interventions compared with the economic benefits of each additional high school graduate.

The Economic Losses From High School Dropouts in California

August 1, 2007

Calculates the fiscal and social burdens from high school dropouts in California, focusing on the economic consequences of inadequate education on earnings, on tax revenues, and on spending on health, crime, and welfare.