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Students With Disabilities Suspended More Often, Report Finds

Students With Disabilities Suspended More Often, Report Finds

A new analysis from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies finds that students with disabilities are suspended more often, and the rate of suspension varies by location.

Nationwide, "nearly 1 in 5 students with disabilities were given out-of-school suspensions during the 2011-2012 school year," according to an article on DisabilityScoop.com. "That’s a rate about twice that of their typically-developing peers, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education."

“Our nation cannot close the achievement gap if our educators ignore the discipline gap,” said Daniel J. Losen, the director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies and an author of the report in the article. “Educators have an opportunity for serious and successful reform in this area and are legally and morally obligated to take action.”

According to the article, a new analysis of the figures "finds the discipline was not handed out uniformly across the country."

"High school students with disabilities in Florida were most likely to be suspended, with 37 percent of such kids given an out-of-school suspension," the article said. "Florida was followed by Nevada, Delaware, South Carolina and Louisiana which also reported high use of the disciplinary measure among kids with disabilities."

DisabilityScoop.com said that "by contrast, just 5 percent of high school students with disabilities in North Dakota were suspended, the fewest of any state."

"Other places with lower suspension rates for this population included Utah and Idaho, according to the review from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles," the article said.

What’s more, when researchers assessed the situation at the school district level, they found even greater disparities. Across the country, some 37 districts suspended more than 25 percent of their elementary school students with disabilities, including one district where over half of those with special needs were suspended.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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