The US Could Save Billions by Not Suspending Students From School
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
Suspending students from school as punishment may not be the best course of action, according to a study from UCLA. The study shows that it actually costs the U.S. over $35 billion when students are forced to take a leave of absence.
The study, released by the UCLA Center for Civil Rights Remedies, explains suspension increases the risk of students dropping out all together, and people without a high school diploma earn less money, which means less tax revenue.
The study also says that people without a high school diploma are more likely to get in trouble with the law and have health issues.
The study looked at 10th graders and found that 16 percent were suspended in one year, and that resulted in about 67,000 high school dropouts nationally.
Researchers also looked at just California and Florida and found that in California suspensions resulted in an additional 10,000 dropouts. In Florida, 9th grade suspensions resulted in an additional 3,500 dropouts.
Daniel J. Losen, director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA, said that their $35 billion estimate is actually on the lower side.
“$35 billion seems like a huge number, but it’s actually a very conservative estimate. We looked at data from just one cohort of 10th grade students. Multiply that with 10th grade cohorts from additional years and costs will easily exceed $100 billion,” he said.
The study urges school officials to reconsider the effectiveness of suspensions.
Thankfully, though, school suspensions rates are on the decline.
According to the study, California was able to reduce suspensions by 40 percent since the 2011-2012 academic year. Suspension rates have also dropped in New York City public schools by 32 percent.