NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School Suspensions Increase -- Particularly Among Black Students

December 11, 2000

Federal statistics show that schools are increasingly resorting to suspension of misbehaving students. And black students are suspended and expelled from public schools far out of proportion to their enrollment numbers.

  • The public school population in the 1973-74 academic year was around 45.6 million -- which saw 1,698,257 suspensions.
  • Although school populations by 1997-98 had grown by less than 420,000, suspensions jumped to 3,185,721 -- an increase of 1,487,464.
  • As for black students, their proportion of the public school population has ranged from 15 percent to 17 percent since 1974, but their suspension rate has fluctuated from 29 percent to 33 percent of students.
  • In 1998, the first year expulsion figures were gathered, 31 percent of children expelled were black -- although blacks made up only 17 percent of students in public schools.

Source: Marilyn Elias, "Disparity in Black and White?" USA Today, December 11, 2000.


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