Number of suspensions increase at Albuquerque Public Schools

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A report shows more than 4,000 more students were suspended in a New Mexico school district last year compared to the previous year, revealing previous improper documentation, district officials said.

There were more than 12,000 student suspensions at Albuquerque Public Schools in 2018-2019, a 51% increase compared to the more than 7,900 students suspended the year before, the Albuquerque Journal reported Monday.

The report includes in-school and out-of-school suspensions for assault and battery, bullying and harassment and drug-related infractions, district officials said.

The increase can be attributed to the district not previously reporting all of the suspensions to the state as required, up until last year, the state Public Education Department said.

The district documented suspensions based on a state list of infractions, but if a suspension happened due to something that was not on the list, it was not reported, department officials said.

More than 3,200 suspensions included in the 2018-2019 count were previously in the unreported category, district officials said.

The district believed it was reporting everything it needed to, district spokeswoman Monica Armenta said.

The government uses the information to designate “persistently dangerous schools” and also serves as a measure of how well students are accessing educational opportunities, department officials said.

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