Saturday, March 11, 2017

Suspending California students costs the state billions, report finds | EdSource

Suspending California students costs the state billions, report finds | EdSource:

Suspending California students costs the state billions, report finds

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Students in the class of 2014 who never graduated because they were suspended from school will cost California an estimated $2.7 billion in increased criminal justice costs and lower taxes paid over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new study from two University of California researchers.
The researchers said they hoped putting a financial cost on school discipline practices that send students out of school would mobilize communities to urge their districts to lower suspension rates.
“This puts the price tag on it,” said Russell Rumberger, director of University of California Santa Barbara’s California Dropout Research Project and co-author of the report with Daniel Losen, director of UCLA’s Civil Rights Project at the Center for Civil Rights Remedies. “For people who say, ‘I don’t care about kids, jail ’em up or whatever,’ these are fiscal costs. It affects taxes, and your taxes are building more prisons.”
The $2.7 billion includes $809 million in direct taxpayer costs for criminal justice services as well as the reduced revenue that is generated by the lower wages earned by most who don’t hold a high school diploma. The total also includes $1.9 billion in social costs, such as reduced economic productivity and higher health care expenses. On average, a single person without a high school diploma will experience $579,820 in economic losses over a lifetime compared to a high school graduate, the report states.
The impact of school discipline practices on students, staff and communities has been under a state spotlight during the past several years, and as a result of the  Obama administration’s “Rethink Discipline” initiative, a federal spotlight as well. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has yet to issue guidance to schools related to school discipline.
“California is a leader in addressing suspensions,” Losen said, noting that alternatives to suspensions, such as restorative justice and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, have become more commonly used in school districts. The shift has been prompted in part by the development of the new state education Suspending California students costs the state billions, report finds | EdSource:
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