How PD helps the community
Education Equates Earnings.
The National Governor's Association in 1998 reported “people with solid basic education and literacy skills work and earn more than people without those skills”. Further, the link between education and income is demonstrated in a 1997 comparison of average
annual income for persons 18 and older and educational attainment (Mortenson, 1999).
Educational Attainment Income
High School Dropout $14,920
High School Graduate $21,680
Some College $24,916
Associate Degree $29.749
Bachelor Degree $40,695
Master Degree $52,771
Doctorate Degree $79,346
Professional Degree $93,714
Simply put, the higher the education, the higher the earnings, the better prepared our youth are to become leaders of tomorrow, and the more likely their children are to pursue higher education.
Clearly, Project Discovery cannot claim that every one of its’ participants who graduate from high school would not have done so without the program. However, Project Discovery participants do graduate and do go onto higher education as a result of the program. In fact, the top twenty-five educational institutions attended by Project Discovery graduates over the last 8 years are either a community college (13) or a four-year college (12) in the Commonwealth.
Return on Investment (ROI) Calculations
Virginia Department of Education funds are required to be matched 100% - FY 2001-02 funding of $1,085,754 generated an additional $1,273,414 in cash, goods and services match.
Over the last 6 years, Project Discovery programs have averaged 649 high school graduates annually. The differential in earnings on an annual basis for 649 graduates from high school versus high school dropouts is $6,760 per student, or $4,387,240.
Presuming these additional earnings are taxed at 5%, the annual increase in general fund tax dollars is $219,362. As 649 graduates is the average per year for the last 8 years, the equivalent contribution for all graduates is 5 x $219,362; an annual contribution to the state’s general fund in increased tax dollars of $1,096,810. This presumption is that none of our graduates enter post-secondary educational opportunities.
As 81% of Project Discovery graduates DO go on to post-secondary educational opportunities, the correlation to earnings could be taken from Mortensons’ table using “some college”. The earnings differential between some college and high school dropout is $9,996 annually x 525 graduates x 5 years = $26,239,500. Add to this 124 graduates annually who do not enter post-secondary education x 5 x 6760 =$4,191,200
Presuming again a 5% contribution in tax revenue to the state general fund, the increased earnings from these students would generate $1,521,535 annually in tax revenue.
Project Discovery . . . it just makes sense.