Thursday, June 2, 2016

High school suspensions cost the country $35 billion annually, report estimates | 89.3 KPCC

High school suspensions cost the country $35 billion annually, report estimates | 89.3 KPCC:

High school suspensions cost the country $35 billion annually, report estimates

When students get suspended from school for a few days, they may not be the only ones who miss out.
report released today by UCLA's Civil Rights Project tries for the first time to quantify the full social cost of so-called "exclusionary discipline."
The authors calculate that suspensions in just one year of school — 10th grade — contributed to 67,000 students eventually dropping out of high school. And that, they conclude, generates total costs to the nation of more than $35 billion.
Russell Rumberger, a co-author of the study and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says that number is conservative. "That's just for a single year."
This study used a two-step process to put a price tag on school suspensions, by calculating:
1) The likelihood that a suspended student will leave school altogether.
2) The cost to society when people drop out of high school.
The second step, from dropouts to money, is pretty well established:
  • People who don't earn a high school diploma on time tend to earn less money, which means they pay less in taxes.
  • They are less likely to have health insurance. Which means less access to prevention, and eventually worse health. They'll need more care — with a higher share of the cost paid for by taxpayers.
  • They are more likely to have trouble with the law, which costs taxpayers in the form of court and prison costs.
  • And they rely on public assistance at higher rates.
In California, for example, it's been estimated that the average high school dropout generates $168,880 in losses to federal, state and local governments over the course of a lifetime.
That first step, calculating how likely a suspended student is to drop out, requires a little more explanation.
In the U.S., only 71 percent of 10th-graders who were suspended at least once in the 2001-2002 school year graduated from high school two years later, the UCLA report High school suspensions cost the country $35 billion annually, report estimates | 89.3 KPCC:


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