Suspending High School Students Comes at a Steep Price: A Texas, Statewide Investigation

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John R. Slate
Jonathan C. Smith

Abstract

In this study, the financial costs of out-of-school suspensions assigned to Hispanic and black students in Grades 9, 10, and 11 were calculated. Descriptive statistics, calculated on Texas statewide archival data, revealed that public schools lost millions of dollars because of the number of days they assigned Hispanic and black students to an out-of-school suspension. With two different dollar amounts being estimated (i.e., a low-cost amount at $40/day and a high cost at $50/day), the low-cost estimates for Hispanic students were 3.9 million dollars, whereas the low-cost estimates for black were totaled 2.4 million dollars. The high-cost estimates for Hispanic students were 4.9 million dollars lost, whereas the high-cost estimates for black students were 3 million dollars lost for school districts. Implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Research Article