30 School Districts Disproportionately Suspend Students with Disabilities


Empty school hallway with red lockers

Thirty school districts in Texas disproportionately suspend students with disabilities, based on a study by Disability Rights Texas using data from the Texas Education Agency for the 2010-2011 school year. This data indicates that special education students are placed in out-of-school suspension statewide at almost double the rate of students overall (7%, compared to 4% for all students). Additionally, 30 school districts suspend even more special education students, averaging about 22%.

DRTx and several other groups are asking the school districts to change their approaches to discipline and suspension. DRTx also plans to offer training to parents in the 30 districts with the highest out-of-school suspension rates, which includes Houston, Waco and South San Antonio.

On the national level, a new report indicates students with disabilities are almost twice as likely to be suspended from school as students without disabilities, with the highest rates among black children with disabilities. This analysis found that about one in 13 students with disabilities are suspended, as compared to 7% for students without disabilities in the 2009-2010 school year. Among black children with disabilities, one out of every four was suspended at least once that school year.

See DRTx News webpage and scroll to “30 Texas School Districts Disproportionately Rely on Out of School Suspension: Leaving Money Behind and Pushing Students Out of School” for more details on Texas.

Read The Civil Rights Project at UCLA’s “Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion from School” for national details.