Dead End: Dropout Crisis Imperils Alabama's Economy

A full classroom of students drop out of high school every school day in Alabama, according to a 2008 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Only 60 percent of students statewide finish high school, and Wilcox County has a dropout rate of twice the state average, exceeding 80 percent. In every independent analysis, Alabama ranks between 42nd and 47th in the nation in graduation rate. This pattern has persisted for the past 25 years.

This fact sheet examines Alabama's dropout crisis, its implications for the state's economy, and possible steps toward a solution.

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