Date Requested: February 04, 2015
Time Requested: 10:55 AM
Agency: Education, Department of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2274 Introduced SB256
CBD Subject: Education (K12)


Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The purpose of this bill is to increase the number of unexcused absences constituting truancy from five (5) back to ten (10) that was changed from ten (10) to five (5) in 2010.

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 0 8,750,000
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 8,750,000
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 -922,250

Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):

    It is predicted that increasing the unexcused absences from 5 back to 10 will have the unintended consequence of causing the high school drop out rate in West Virginia to increase, and the increase could be as much as double the current rate. This prediction is based on the following data that shows that the drop rate decreased by more than half when the unexcused absence numbers were decreased from 10 to 5 in 2010. As can be seen, the number of high school dropouts decreased from 3,353 during the 2009-10 school year to 1,584 during the 2013-14 school year, a decrease of 1,769.
    2009-10 2.7% (3,353) 10 days unexcused
    2010-11 2.2% (2,729) Law changed to 5 days unexcused
    2011-12 1.7% (2,114) 5 days unexcused
    2012-13 1.5% (1,877) 5 days unexcused
    2013-14 1.3% (1,584) 5 days unexcused
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average dropout can expect to earn $10,386 less annually than a typical high school graduate, their unemployment rate is much higher, and dropouts experience a much higher poverty rate. In addition, according to a study by the Alliance for Excellent Education, high school dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested in their lifetime. The Alliance estimates that the State of West Virginia could increase the annual earnings of its citizens by $8.3 million by increasing the graduation rate to 90%. And researchers at Northeastern University found that a dropout will cost taxpayers an average of $292,000 over a lifetime due to the price tag associated with incarceration and other factors.
    Based on these statistics, and the assumption that the number of high school dropouts will increase by 1,750 students by the passage of this bill, it is estimated that the State will see a reduction of $15.2 million in annual earnings, causing a decrease in state tax collections of $922,250.
    In addition, it is estimated that the State will incur an estimated annual increase in welfare, medical and incarceration costs of at least $8,750,000, computed by dividing $292,000 by the difference in the life expectancy of WV citizens and 17 years of age ($292,000 / (75.4 yrs. - 17 yrs. old = 58.4) = $5,000 and multiplying this annual cost by the estimated increase in dropouts, 1,750 = $8,750,000.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Brenda Freed
    Email Address: