When children avoid school to avoid bullying, states can lose tens of millions of dollars in funding, finds new research from UT Austin. Published in School Psychology Quarterly, the research highlights the hidden cost to communities in states that use daily attendance numbers to calculate public school funding.
“Bullying is a big social problem that not only creates an unhealthy climate for individuals but also undermines schools and communities,” says Stephen Russell, professor and chair of human development and family sciences at UT Austin.
Some states—including Texas—use a formula known as average daily attendance to allocate certain school funds. Schools that receive funding based on children’s presence rather than based on total enrollment will have lower revenue when children miss school for any reason.
Russell’s analysis showed that 10.4 percent of students reported they missed at least one day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.