SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A new study finds cutting California’s high school drop out rate could save the state billions in public health care costs.
Excellent Education, a Washington D.C. policy group, looked at spending in all 50 states. According to their findings, a high-school graduate is 50 percent less likely to use Medicaid than a drop out.
The study concluded that the state of California could save $131 million in treating heart disease, $268 million for obesity, $203 million for alcoholism and $274 for smoking.
Troy Flint, spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, which has a 40 percent dropout rate, but also 15 school-based health clinics (the most of any school district of its size in the state), said it’s more than teaching kids on dangers of smoking, drinking and poor nutrition.
He noted the importance of getting them to succeed academically, which can also change who and where they hang out.