Charter schools suspend students of color and those with disabilities at higher rates than their peers, a new analysis finds. That trend mirrors disparate discipline rates in traditional public schools, although the report finds suspension rates at charters are slightly higher on the whole.
The first-of-its kind analysis of charter school discipline data, by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that during the 2011-12 school year, on the whole, charter schools suspended about 7.8 percent of students at least once, compared with 6.7 percent of students at traditional public schools.
It also found large discipline disparities at some charter schools. Of the 5,000 schools studied, 500-plus had a black-white suspension gap exceeding 10 percentage points. A similar gap existed between students with disabilities and their nondisabled peers in 1,093 charters. In 484 of those schools, “the suspension rate for students with disabilities was 20 points higher than for those without disabilities.”
A version of this article appeared in the March 23, 2016 edition of Education Week as Charter Suspension Rates Show Unequal Treatment