Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise estimates that the "un-graduated" class of 2008 will cost the country $319,000,000,000 over their lifespan. The estimate not only includes the money that taxpayers will spend in their support, but also includes the salary that they will lose based on their inability to attain a High School diploma.
The great thing about Bob Wise is that he makes this estimate and then attempts to do something about it. He is the executive director of an advocacy group focused on high schools called Alliance for Excellent Education based out of Washington, D.C. He recently held a town hall meeting and discussed his views:
"Your purpose in life is not how much money you can make — it's how much good you can do. They didn't name a street for me because I had money. I've been broke all my life."