Black Preschool Kids Still Get Suspended Much More Frequently Than White Preschool Kids

Joy Resmovits, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2016

Schools suspend minority students at much higher rates than their peers, sometimes starting from the beginning–preschool.

The Civil Rights Data Collection, a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, surveyed over 50 million students at more than 95,000 schools and found that while suspensions decreased by almost 20 percentage points between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, gaps between the suspension rates of different groups of students remained, according to results released late Monday.

The survey included 1,439,188 preschool students enrolled in 28,783 schools. Of those, 6,743 preschool students or .47% were suspended out of school once or more than once. While black girls represent 20 percent of preschool enrollment, 54 percent of preschool girls suspended once or more were black. And black preschool children overall were 3.6 times as likely to be suspended as young white children.

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Across all grades, 2.8 million students were suspended once or more than once. Black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended and almost twice as likely to be expelled as white students. Students with disabilities were also twice as likely to be suspended as general education students.

The disparity “tears at the moral fabric of the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. “We will not compromise away the civil right of all students to an excellent education.”

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