JASON MICCOLO JOHNSON
Bill Milliken: We
all have a stake
in the dropout
can all play a role
in solving it.
18 The Costco Connection OCTOBER 2007
ee those kids hanging out on the cor-
ner, dropouts with idle time and with-
out a job, in Anytown, USA? Somebody
else’s kids, somebody else’s problem, right?
Not so, argues Bill Milliken. There’s a dropout epidemic in America—a relatively ignored
issue that actually affects us all. Each year in
this country, almost a third of public high
school students fail to graduate with their class.
A report issued in 2006 by the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation indicated that there are 3. 5
million dropouts between 16 and 25 years old,
and statistically they’re more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty, experience poor health,
depend on social services and end up in jail
than their graduating classmates. In fact, on
any given day, more young male dropouts are
in prison than on a job.
The effects are staggering. Youths who aren’t
working are costing the country billions in lost
wages and increased social support. The combined income and tax loss from a single year’s