Black, Latino Students Suspended at Higher Rates in San Antonio Schools

San Antonio Express - News

Students of color and those with disabilities in San Antonio middle and high schools are disciplined with off-campus suspensions at higher rates than their peers, according to analysis of federal data by the University of California, Los Angeles.

That’s true across the country, the UCLA’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies stated in the report released last week.

Titled, “Are We Closing The School Discipline Gap?” it counted how many students in roughly 12,000 school districts nationwide were suspended out-of-school at least once during the 2011-12 school year, the most recent U.S. Department of Education data available.

Education reformers have become more critical of the practice, contending school districts lose teaching time with suspended students as well as funding for counting them absent, essentially putting them on a path toward falling behind, dropping out and falling into the criminal justice system.

The findings “bring up civil rights issues,” said Daniel J. Losen, the center’s director and the report’s principal author. “We know from studying the data that suspensions are strong indicators of lower academic achievement and higher numbers of dropouts. It doesn’t help anyone much, from what we can tell.”

The local districts with the highest out-of-school suspension rates for middle and high school students tend to have lower-income enrollments with larger percentages of students of color, an Express-News analysis of the numbers in the UCLA report found.

Among racial groups, in the 19 school districts that are all or partly in Bexar County, black students are far fewer in numbers, but about 15 percent of them were suspended out of school in the 2011-12 school year, compared to 10 percent of all Latino students and 5 percent of white students...

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