(a) In Colorado, approximately three hundred fifty thousand adults do not have a high
(b) Research shows that as many as eighty percent of the individuals who left high
school without a diploma did so for nonacademic reasons, including the need to work
to support themselves or their families; becoming parents; bullying or social anxiety;
or falling too far behind to graduate on time;
(c) Education is a significant economic driver; according to Columbia university
economist, Henry Levin, the average cost to the state for a student who drops out
of high school is two hundred fifty-eight thousand two hundred forty dollars in social
services, incarceration expenses, and lost income from taxes over the individual's
(d) When combined with lost wages, the total opportunity cost for one high school
dropout is seven hundred fifty-five thousand nine hundred dollars.
(2) Therefore, the general assembly declares that by creating a workforce diploma
pilot program that provides Colorado adults with the opportunity to complete a high
school diploma, while transferring the risk to providers who receive performance payments
only when those students meet performance milestones, the state can better meet its
workforce goals for future economic growth.
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