Yet again, the Hillsborough County School District has taken steps to reduce racial disparities in discipline, and the " />
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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Discipline gap just won't go away

A task force spent more than two years discussing ways to reduce racial disparities in discipline in the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

TBO

A task force spent more than two years discussing ways to reduce racial disparities in discipline in the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

29

July

Yet again, the Hillsborough County School District has taken steps to reduce racial disparities in discipline, and the efforts have yielded mixed results:

Children are spending more time in class.

But those who are taken out of class, far too often, are black.

This was the case when the district began studying its discipline policies in 2013 and when, following a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, the district began to reform those policies.

Data from the first full year of Superintendent Jeff Eakins' new discipline approach shows the trend has continued.

The highlights:

Total days for in-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), and ATOSS (alternative to out-of-school suspension) were reduced by 23 percent between the 2014-15 school year and 2015-16.

That change reflects a new policy that requires permission from an area superintendent before a school can hand down a suspension of more than five days. 

Student arrest decreased by 17 percent -- 19 percent for black students, 12 percent for Hispanic students and 21 percent for white students.

But, as the graphics show, "blacks represent 21 percent of the student body, 44 percent of the students arrested, 44 percent of days in ATOSS, 41 percent of days in ISS, and 41 percent of days in OSS."

When arrest rates were compared by race, there were 286 for black students and 142 for white students -- more than double -- even though there are one and a half times as many white students in the system. 

[Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2016 2:57pm]

    

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