CIS of Texas is the largest state program in the national CIS network and is also the largest dropout prevention program in the state. CIS of Texas is administered by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS), Division of Prevention and Early Intervention.
The first CIS program in Texas was established in Houston in 1979. During 1984, Governor Mark White launched an effort to overhaul the public education system in Texas and adopted CIS as one of his Exemplary Youth Programs. Under Governor White, the CIS program was expanded to four additional cities.
Today, the legislature appropriates over $35 million for CIS of Texas to operate programs in 108 school districts and 545 campuses throughout the state. The legislature also established a CIS State Advisory Committee whose role is to advise and provide guidance to CIS of Texas.
Communities In Schools (CIS) Inc., founded in 1977, is the nation’s largest stay-in-school network. Nationally, CIS serves almost 750,000 young people a year through more than 2,500 educational sites in 32 states.
For more information on the CIS National network visit CIS National.
High school graduates, on the average, earn $6,415 more per year than high school dropouts. (Bureau of the Census, 1994).
Each year’s class of dropouts will cost the country over $200 billion during their lifetimes in lost earnings and unrealized tax revenue (Catterall, 1985).
82% of America’s prisoners are high school dropouts (The demographics of school reform, 1990).
In October of 1989, 35% of those who had dropped out of school were not employed—only about one-half of those who had dropped out in the previous 12 months were employed (OERI, 1991).
Students from low-income families are 2.4 times more likely to drop out of school than are children from middle-income families, and 10.5 times more likely than students from high-income families (NCES, 1993).
More than half a million Texas public school students are at risk of dropping out. Many students drop out for school concerns. Others quit school over job and family concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, or homelessness. When young people drop out, they forfeit job opportunities and financial stability. Texas loses potentially skilled workers and billions of tax dollars. Dropouts also cost taxpayers additional dollars for adult education, training, welfare, unemployment insurance, and incarceration.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports that 27,592 students between grades 7 and 12 dropped out in 1998-1999. (For more information on Texas dropout statistics in your school district visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/).
References Bureau of the Census. (1994). Educational attainment in the United States: March 1993 and 1992. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration.
Catterall, J. S. (1985). On the social costs of dropping out of schools. (Report No. 86-SEPT-3). Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Center for Educational Research.
The demographics of school reform: A look at the children. (1990). CDP Newsletter, 1(3), 1-3.
NCES. (1993). Dropout rates in the United States: 1992. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Statistics, U. S. Department of Education.
OERI. (1991). Youth indicators 1991: Trends in the well-being of American youth. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U. S. Department of Education.
Concerns over high school dropouts stem from an increased understanding of the importance of having an educated workforce. Technological advances in the workplace have increased the demand for skilled labor to the point where today a high school education serves more as a minimum requirement for entry to the labor force. This increased emphasis on educational requirements makes the completion of a high school program more essential than ever.
In fact, youths entering adulthood today face more challenging educational requirements than their parents or grandparents 20 to 50 years earlier. When the grandparents of today’s high school students entered adulthood, a high school education was viewed as an asset in the labor force; and for their children, a high school education still served as an entryway to a number of promising career paths. For example, in 1950, when grandparents of many of today’s high school students were new to the workforce, only about one-half of the population ages 25 to 29 had completed a high school program (Digest of Education Statistics 1995). In contrast, during the 1970s, when the parents of many of today’s high schoolers entered the labor force, about 83 to 84 percent of the population ages 18 through 24 not enrolled in high school had a high school education.
If the population is considered as a whole, the net increase in high school completion observed over the last 20 years is less than 2 percent. By 1995 about 85 percent of the 18- through 24-year-olds who were not still in high school had completed a high school program. The picture is somewhat different when the experiences of individual racial-ethnic groups are considered separately. The percent of white young adults with a high school education during the 1970s was between 86 and 87 percent ¾ by 1995 89.8 percent of this group held high school credentials. During the 1970s, between 70 and 74 percent of black young adults had completed a high school program; by 1995, the number was up to 84.5 percent. A lower percentage of Hispanic youths complete high school programs, and the pattern for Hispanics has continued relatively unchanged during the 1970s the percentage of Hispanic 18- through 24-year-olds with a high school education fluctuated between 56 and 62 percent; in the 1990s it ranged from about 59 to 64 percent, and in 1995 the rate was 62.8 percent.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, October (various years), unpublished data.