With Look Both Ways, you get more out than you put in. Every year, millions of teen girls drop out of High School because of an unintended pregnancy. Let’s take one school district in Phoenix, AZ, for example. It has 14,000 girls in High School, and every year 126 of them drop out because of pregnancy, and 31 boys also drop out to become wage-earning fathers. That’s admirable, but they still have put themselves in an economic pickle. With proper education, society saves money three ways by keeping teens in school.
1.) Of these dropout girls, 77 will give live birth to a baby, each of which costs society $42,000. That’s over $3 million Arizona has to pay just to support the birth of babies in ONE school district. 2.) Dropouts earn $8,000 annually less than youth with a High School diploma. These 157 dropouts cumulatively earn $1.25 million less than if they had graduated. Arizona has a 3% tax rate for workers in this tax bracket. These dropouts pay over $37,000 less in taxes than their graduating counterparts, and don’t forget the lesser amount they pay in sales tax because of their lower incomes.
3.) Empirical evidence suggests that a Look Both Ways reproductive health curriculum can prevent half of the High School dropouts, saving the state over $1.5 million, enough to pay for a reproductive health curriculum many times over. (Google these stats and you can do the math for yourself, and it takes no more than basic math skills, not trigonometry or calculus.)