Should the Dropout Age be Raised?

Numerous+students+consider+dropping+out+of+high+school+every+day%2C+but+the+end+result+is+well+worth+the+struggles+of+high+school.+Over+the+last+three+years%2C+1.2+million+students+have+dropped+out+of+high+school+in+the+United+states+alone.
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Should the Dropout Age be Raised?

Numerous students consider dropping out of high school every day, but the end result is well worth the struggles of high school. Over the last three years, 1.2 million students have dropped out of high school in the United states alone.

Numerous students consider dropping out of high school every day, but the end result is well worth the struggles of high school. Over the last three years, 1.2 million students have dropped out of high school in the United states alone.

Numerous students consider dropping out of high school every day, but the end result is well worth the struggles of high school. Over the last three years, 1.2 million students have dropped out of high school in the United states alone.

Numerous students consider dropping out of high school every day, but the end result is well worth the struggles of high school. Over the last three years, 1.2 million students have dropped out of high school in the United states alone.

Natalie Waterman, Staff Reporter

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Dropping out is an option that is on the mind of some high schoolers throughout America. These students might be thinking that they do not want to go to college, so high school does not matter. Another thought they might have could be that they hate high school and would rather work instead. However, these students might not realize the impact they could be making on their lives if they drop out.

Many students from Kittitas Secondary School believe that the dropout age should be raised, based off of their personal knowledge and statistics that back up the fact that the consequences of dropping out of high school early can affect lives negatively.

In some states, it is legal to drop out at the age of 16 without parental consent. However, some states have raised the dropout age to older than 16. Students in these states will need parental consent before they reach the legal age of dropping out.

“The age limit should be 18 because if you’re too young, you might make decisions without thinking all the way through,” senior Bre Hunter said.

Dropping out of school might seem reasonable to some who want to escape from school and stress, but dropping out can affect their lives when they are looking for a career by creating little opportunities for jobs. The unemployment rate for dropouts was 12 percent in 2012, while the unemployment rate for high school graduates was 3.9 percent, according to the United States department of Labor. In 2008, nearly 54 percent of young dropouts were unemployed.

In the long-run, most of the careers that dropouts will try to pursue will not be what they enjoy because most employers only hire employees with college degrees.

“Dropping out of high school leads to less job opportunities,” senior Junior Sanchez said. “Someone who graduates has a better chance of getting a job than a person who just drops out.“

Graduating from high school does not only benefit students themselves, but also society as a whole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the drop-outs have a negative income tax contribution to society of about $5,200, while the median high school graduate will be producing a definite $287,000 of income tax to society. This means that instead of adding to the economy, drop outs are costing the country money.

“The negative impact on tax contribution is very shocking,” sophomore Drue Collins said. “I hope that our society can work together with the government to help stop high school dropouts.“

Dropping out can also make for lower-paying salaries. The average dropout can expect to make an annual starting income of $20,000; that’s a $10,000 decrease in starting salary from those who graduate, according to the United States Department of Labor.

“I know that nowadays even low paying jobs like fast food still want people to have a diploma or a GED. So if somebody doesn’t even have that, then they have to work lower paying jobs in agriculture,” junior Gracia Simon said.

Another component to consider is that dropping out can increase the likelihood of starting a family too early, when someone is not ready to support one. Female dropouts are six times more as likely to give birth and nine times more likely to become single mothers than those who have graduated, according to the American Chemical Society.

“I think that anyone that drops out because they can’t handle school should not be ready to handle a family,“  senior Amber Edgar said.

The most common reasons for dropping out are needing money to support a family, getting held back, using drugs, becoming pregnant, joining gangs, and being in bad school environments.

“I feel really bad for people who need to drop out because they have other home issues, but I feel like there’s still ways to overcome them and get help,“ senior Janessa Girard said.

Not graduating often leads to going to jail or prison because dropouts often do not  have enough money to support themselves, which often leads to crime. Eighty percent of the prisoners did not obtain a highschool diploma, according to The Alliance For Excellent Education.

“Dropping out will probably lead to jail time because they don’t make enough money to support themselves, leading to unlawful decisions to get what they need to survive,“ junior Kaelynn Bishop said.

The more that American adults spread the word to teenage students about the numerous defaults of not obtaining a high school diploma, the closer they will become to realizing success.

“If parents tell their kids more about how bad it is to drop out, I would think kids would not be so eager to drop out,” sophomore Ryan Dyk said.