Of the 49 million students enrolled in public schools in 2011-2012:
3.5 million students were suspended in-school;
3.45 million students were suspended out-of-school;
130,000 students were expelled.
Various data sources show clearly that students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionately impacted by such practices. According to the Civil Rights Data Collection, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students, while students with disabilities are twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension as their non-disabled peers. Sources of discipline data and research can be found here.
New Equity in IDEA, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
The nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist. Students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates. The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step towards addressing these widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities by proposing a new Equity in IDEA Rule.
New Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Special Education
A Multi-Year Disproportionality Analysis by State, Analysis Category, and Race/Ethnicity
This report provides a set of tables showing the number and percentage of school districts that would be identified with significant disproportionality if ED's example risk ratio thresholds were adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- The Hidden Cost of Suspension:
How can kids learn if they're not in school?
Explore two maps illustrating out-of-school suspensions across the country.
The Civil Rights Data Collection is the U.S. Department of Education's primary data source on monitoring educational programs and services for civil rights compliance.
State data about the infants and toddlers who receive early intervention services and children with disabilities who receive special education and related services. This includes information about disciplinary removals of students with disabilities, ages 3-21.
Recent studies describing discipline practices in different regions of the country.
Breaking Schools Rules Study (2011)
Council of State Governments
Disproportionality in School Discipline: An Assessment of Trends in Maryland, 2009–12
Institute for Education Sciences
Suspension and Expulsion Patterns in Six Oregon School Districts (2014)
Regional Education Laboratories Northwest