Economic Costs of Bias-Based Bullying

Laura Baams, Craig A. Talmage, Stephen T Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Because many school districts receive funding based on student attendance, absenteeism results in a high cost for the public education system. This study shows the direct links between bias-based bullying, school absenteeism because of feeling unsafe at school, and loss of funds for school districts in California. Data from the 2011-2013 California Healthy Kids Survey and the California Department of Education were utilized. Results indicate that annually, California school districts lose an estimated $276 million of unallocated funds because of student absences resulting from feeling unsafe at school. Experiences of bias-based bullying were significantly associated with student absenteeism, and the combination of these experiences resulted in a loss of funds to school districts. For example, the absence of students who experienced bullying based on their race or ethnicity resulted in a projected loss of $78 million in unallocated funds. These data indicate that in addition to fostering student safety and well-being, schools have the societal obligation and economic responsibility to prevent bias-based bullying and related absenteeism. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 29 2017



  • Absenteeism
  • Bias-based bullying
  • Daily attendance
  • Economic costs
  • Education system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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