Drop-out rates and impact

Students with emotional disturbance and other behavioral disorders leave school unsuccessfully at much higher rates than the general student population. 

In Vermont, the five-year graduation rates break down as follows: 

  • 8% of all students graduate
  • 68% of students with behavioral difficulties related to some disabling conditiongraduate
  • Less than 40% of students specifically identified with an Emotional Disturbancegraduate

Students with behavioral and emotional difficulties are over-represented in the drop-out rate. In 2015, students with behavioral and emotional difficulties comprised only 4% of the total student population. However:

  • 35% of the total number of students who dropped-out had been identified as having an Emotional Disturbance 
  • 25% of the total number of students who dropped-out had been identified as having behavioral issues not directly identified as having an Emotional Disturbance 

Because of their lack of engagement and their barriers to success, students who drop out of high school are typically economically disadvantaged for the rest of their lives. They become a significant long-term social and financial burden on their communities—including over-representation in the criminal justice system.

Regional Impact of Academic Failure

  • 57% live at or below the poverty line
  • 67% of Vermonters on public assistance are high school dropouts
  • 41% of Vermonter’s who drop-out of school are unemployed
  • 49% work for minimum wage
  • 90+% of Vermont’s prison population under 22 years old are high school dropouts