It's not fair, some of us grumble -- why spend money helping someone who dropped out of school return and get a diploma? Why didn't they appreciate it when society was spending money on them the first time?
It's cheaper than the alternatives, that's why. And it's in all of our best interests.
Time was, a dropout could find productive work, maybe even build a life on the wages of that work. That's not true anymore. A high school diploma, or the equivalent, is only the prerequisite for the further learning -- college degree, vocational training, what have you -- that equips a person to function in society.
People drop out for a number of reasons, ranging from necessity to immaturity. That can't be denied. And some of them, experiencing life or lack of life after their aborted educations, try to climb back in.
And we Americans, the supposed people of the second chance, don't always like to grant that second chance. Parasites, we shout. Failures -- guaranteeing with our words and attitudes we won't let them be anything else.
No, money spent helping someone reinvent his or her life is money well spent. After all, we are helping create a productive, motivated individual out of someone who knows better than most the price of abandoning that.