School or the Streets: Crime and California’s Dropout Crisis

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Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, California

Researchers say that high school dropouts in California are three-and-a-half times as likely as high school graduates to be arrested, and more than eight times as likely to be incarcerated. In California, an estimated one in three high school students fails to graduate on time, and more than 20 percent of residents who turn 20 each year do so without a high school diploma or a GED.

The study says a 10 percentage-point increase in graduation rates would reduce murder and assault rates by about 20 percent, which would prevent 500 murders and more than 20,000 aggravated assaults in California each year. The nonprofit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids recommends more investment in proven approaches, such as smaller learning communities in high schools, high-quality preschool and targeted dropout-prevention programs. Free. 16 pages. (510) 836-2050,