Using data from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey, researchers at the Urban Institute found that nearly a third of the 563,000 teenage dropouts left school to work. These 16- to 18-year-olds were disproportionately male and Hispanic, and ended their education either at the beginning of high school or nearing the end. Roughly 75 percent of them are native-born Americans, the new study said.
Granted, high school graduation rates among Hispanic students has climbed in recent years, with 75 percent receiving a diploma in 2013 compared to 71 percent two years earlier, according to the latest data from the Education Department. Still, young Hispanic men are at high risk of leaving school to work, the Urban Institute study found.
Six out of 10 of the teenagers identified in the study earned less than $10,000 a year working in restaurants, on construction sites, cleaning buildings, among other things. A third of the kids contribute more than 20 percent of the total annual income of their households, a tenth contributed more than 50 percent, the study said.
It's pretty awful that with Republicans doing everything they can to limit help to the working poor, that we've gotten to the point where a third of high school dropouts are doing so in order to earn money to support their families. Kids are giving up high school education just to help keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. We're forcing kids to do that now in the name of "smaller government".
It's shameful, but then again an uneducated workforce is exactly what Republicans want.