The Economic Cost Of School Suspensions

Students who are suspended from school are at a higher risk of dropping out — which leads to high fiscal and social costs, according to a new study. Decreasing the suspension rate — the study estimated that 16 percent of tenth graders received suspensions in the period studied — may save society money in the long term.



— Social costs: “the lifetime differences between dropouts and graduates in: incomes; taxes paid; government spending on health, crime, and welfare; tax distortions; and productivity gains” (estimated at $527,695 per student)
— Fiscal costs: A subset of social costs, this is lost tax revenue and greater government spending on health, social services and the justice system (estimated at $163,340 per student).
— Cost estimates for the U.S. are based on study findings from California and Florida and national data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. Researchers looked at ninth graders in Florida and 10th-graders in California and nationwide (all from the class of 2004).