By Laura Newberry
March 17, 2016
Charter schools suspend black students and students disabilities at a much higher rate than their white and non-disabled peers, according to a recent analysis of federal education data.
The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles, a nonprofit civil rights research and policy organization, analyzed nearly 5,000 charters using data from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights for the study.
Black students are four times more likely to be suspended from charter schools than white students, the report shows, while students with disabilities students are suspended at two to three times the rate of non-disabled students.
Suspension rates at charters are, overall, slightly higher than those at traditional public schools, the study found. But these inequities at charters mirror trends at their non-charter counterparts, the New York Times said.
Elementary, middle and high school charters suspended 7.8 percent of students, compared with 6.7 percent of students in traditional public schools, the report said.
Charter schools suspended 15.5 percent of students with disabilities. That figure was 13.7 percent at non-charters.
Less than a third of elementary school charters suspended more than 10 percent of black students, but nearly 40 percent of charters suspended 25 percent or more of their black students.
Education Week notes that the report provides new insight into a debate over how often charters " ... remove students from the classroom and whether their suspension policies are applied fairly across racial, ethnic, and other demographic groups."
The data used in the report was collected during the 2011-2012 school year.
The Center for Civil Rights Remedies published a similar report on suspension rates at traditional public schools in 2015.