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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Student Exclusions 1997 - 1998

Letter from the Commissioner
Student Exclusions by District

Background

A student exclusion is defined as the removal of a student from participation in regular school activities for disciplinary purposes permanently, indefinitely or for more than ten consecutive school days.

The 1997-98 school year was the fifth year in which the Department of Education collected data on student exclusions at the individual level rather than at the aggregate level. All schools were required to submit data on students excluded, as defined above, between July 1, 1997, and June 30, 1998.

The following analysis is based on data reported by school districts. The data were returned to school districts for verification, and editing of the data was done in cases for which corrections were submitted.

Results

There were 1,334 student exclusions in the 1997-98 school year. A total of 1,276 students were excluded once, and 29 students were excluded two or more times during the year.

Table 1. Student Exclusions Over Time

 1997-981996-971995-961994-951993-94*
Number of student exclusionssstd>958
Number of individual students excluded1276144613571390NA
Number of students excluded more than once294910585NA
Percent of students who received alternative education66.5%62.9%62.7%67.4%59.3%
* Through 5/1/94NA — Data not available

The number of student exclusions during the 1997-98 school year decreased by 11 percent from the previous school year after remaining fairly constant over the prior three years. It is important to note that the 1993-94 data were collected as of May 1, 1994, and do not represent the entire school year. Therefore, the increase observed from 1993-94 to 1994-95 may not have been as dramatic as it appears. The number of students excluded more than once during the 1997-98 school year dropped by 41 percent from the previous year and by 72 percent from 1995-96. Nearly two-thirds of students excluded from school were provided with alternative education, an increase of nearly four percentage points from the prior year.

Table 2. Student Characteristics

 1997-981996-971995-96
 #%#%#%
Gender
Male
Female
Not reported
1064
2691
79.8
20.2
0.1
1212
286
0
80.9
19.1
1148
333
1
77.5
22.5
0.1
Race/Ethnicity
African-American
Asian
Hispanic
White
Native American
Not reported
247
57
464
552
5
9
18.5
4.3
34.8
41.4
0.4
0.7
350
41
506
595
4
2
23.4
2.7
33.8
39.7
0.3
0.1
336
54
584
490
11
7
22.7
3.6
39.4
33.1
0.7
0.5
Age
10 years old and under
11-13 years old
14-21 years old
Not reported
34
264
1028
8
2.5
19.8
77.1
0.6
47
314
1122
15
3.1
21.0
74.9
1.0
37
330
1087
28
2.5
22.3
73.3
1.9
Program Status
Regular education
Special education
Referred for special education
Not reported
1035
282
12
5
77.6
21.1
0.9
0.4
1107
364
9
18
73.9
24.3
0.6
1.2
1162
305
4
11
78.4
20.6
0.3
0.7

Approximately four-fifths of student exclusions were male students. The proportion of male exclusions in 1997-98 decreased slightly from the previous year.

In comparison to the total student enrollment, a disproportionate number of students excluded from school were African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American students. Minority students comprised 22.5 percent of the total student enrollment but accounted for nearly three-fifths of student exclusions. Hispanic students, almost one-tenth of the total student enrollment, accounted for over one-third of the exclusions. African-American students, 8.5 percent of the total student enrollment, accounted for 18.5 percent of the exclusions. Although white students comprised 77.5 percent of the total student enrollment, they accounted for 41.4 percent of student exclusions. This pattern has been consistent over time.

Over three-quarters of student exclusions were between the ages of 14 and 21 years old. Almost one-fifth were students between the ages of 11 and 13, and nearly three percent were students age 10 and younger. Almost four percent of student exclusions were in grades kindergarten through five. About 31 percent of student exclusions were in grades six through eight, and nearly 65 percent were in grades nine through twelve. The ninth grade had the largest number (339) of exclusions, slightly over one-quarter of all student exclusions.

Regular education students, who comprised 83.4 percent of the total student enrollment, made up 77.6 percent of student exclusions. Special education students, who comprised 16.6 percent of the total student enrollment, accounted for 21.1 percent of the exclusions. Less than one percent of the exclusions involved students referred for special education.

Schools reported one or more offenses for each student exclusion. Table 3 lists the number of exclusions that occurred for each of the offenses specified in state law as actions for which school principals are authorized to expel students, and for "other" offenses. Exclusions resulting from more than one offense are listed as either a "weapon combination" or a "non-weapon combination."

Table 3. Offenses

 1997-981996-971995-96
 #%#%#%
Type of Offense
Weapon on school premises
Illegal substance on school premises
Assault on school staff
Assault on student
Felony outside of school
Other
Weapon combination
Non-weapon combination
Not reported
306
291
189
122
130
206
47
42
1
22.9
21.8
14.2
9.1
9.7
15.4
3.5
3.1
0.1
317
334
179
138
63
286
79
100
2
21.2
22.3
11.9
9.2
4.2
19.1
5.3
6.7
0.1
257
276
187
158
62
419
53
60
10
17.3
18.6
12.6
10.7
4.2
28.3
3.6
4.0
0.7
Type of Weapon*
Knife
Gun
Explosive or incendiary device
Other
Not reported
242
20
23
67
1
68.6
5.7
6.5
19.0
0.3
242
36
18
99
1
61.1
9.1
4.5
25.0
0.3
220
25
7
53
5
71.0
8.1
2.3
17.1
1.6
* Percent is for exclusions involving a weapon
NA — Data not available

Over one-quarter of student exclusions were for weapons or weapon combinations, about the same as the prior year. Over one-fifth of the exclusions were for possession of an illegal substance, a slight decrease from the previous year. Approximately 14 percent of the exclusions were for an assault on school staff, and nine percent of student exclusions were for an assault on a student. Nearly 10 percent of exclusions were for a felony committed outside of school, more than double that of the prior year. Exclusions for an offense reported as "Another @ accounted for slightly more than 15 percent of student exclusions, a decrease of nearly 13 percentage points from two years earlier.

Of the 353 exclusions that involved a weapon, 68.6 percent involved a knife, an increase from the previous year. Nearly six percent involved a gun, a decrease from the prior year, and 6.5 percent involved an explosive or incendiary device. Some other type of weapon accounted for almost one-fifth of the exclusions involving a weapon, a decrease from 25 percent the previous year.

Table 4. Length of Exclusion*

 1997-981996-971995-96
 #%#%#%
14-29 days
30-59 days
60-179 days
180-364 days
One year
Longer than one year
To end of current school year
To end of next school year
Permanent
Not reported
129
369
158
66
125
11
270
15
152
39
9.7
27.7
11.8
4.9
9.4
0.8
20.2
1.1
11.4
2.9
254
387
95
26
113
6
397
12
164
44
17.0
25.8
6.3
1.7
7.5
0.4
26.5
0.8
10.9
2.9
347
409
130
32
57
0
273
8
165
61
23.4
27.6
8.8
2.2
3.8
0
18.4
0.5
11.1
4.1
* Data are reported in calendar days, not in school days.

Schools were asked to report the date the student was excluded and either the date the student returned to school or was eligible to return to school, or that the exclusion was permanent.

Overall, student exclusions were for a greater length of time in 1997-98 than they were in the previous year. The percentage of exclusions that lasted between 14 and 29 calendar days decreased from 17.0 percent in 1996-97 to 9.7 percent in 1997-98. The percentage of exclusions that lasted between 30 and 59 days increased from 25.8 percent in 1996-97 to 27.7 percent in 1997-98, and the percentage that lasted between 60 and 179 days increased from 6.3 percent in 1996-97 to 11.8 percent in 1997-98. The percentage of exclusions that lasted between 180 and 364 days increased from 1.7 percent in 1996-97 to 4.9 percent in 1997-98, and the percentage that lasted one full year increased from 7.5 percent in 1996-97 to 9.4 percent in 1997-98. One-fifth of the exclusions lasted from the date of the exclusion to the end of the 1997-98 school year, a decrease of about six percentage points from the previous year. Exactly 11.4 percent of the exclusions were permanent, a slight increase from the prior year.

White students were more likely to be excluded permanently than any other racial group. Almost 18 percent of white students who were excluded from school were removed permanently, compared with 17.5 percent of Asian students, 6.5 percent of Hispanic students, and 5.3 percent of African-American students.

In the 1997-98 school year, nearly 67 percent of all students excluded from school were provided with alternative education, an increase of nearly four percentage points from the previous year. Slightly more than 58 percent of regular education students excluded from school received alternative education, an increase of over three percentage points from the prior year. Although by law special education students who are excluded from school must be provided with alternative education, five percent of special education students did not receive alternative education, although this is a decrease of nearly six percentage points from the previous year. Of the 14 special education students who did not receive alternative education, the reason reported for five of the students was that the student refused or did not respond to the offer to provide alternative education, and for three students the school chose not to provide it. An additional three students were reported as being incarcerated, two students had moved, and no reason was reported for one student.

For those students who were excluded from school and were provided with alternative education, just under 57 percent attended an in-district alternative program, nearly 29 percent were provided with home tutoring, and slightly more than 10 percent received alternative education in a private alternative setting.

In cases where students were not provided with alternative education, the reason reported for nearly 70 percent of exclusions was that the school chose not to provide it, down by over five percentage points from the prior year, but up by nearly 32 percentage points from the 1995-96 school year. The reason reported for one-fifth of exclusions was that the student refused to accept or did not respond to the offer to provide alternative education, an increase of five percentage points from the prior year.

Table 5. Alternative Education

 1997-981996-971995-96
 #%#%#%
All Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
Not reported
887
439
8
66.5
32.9
0.6
942
538
18
62.9
35.9
1.2
929
484
69
62.7
32.7
4.6
Regular Education Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
Not reported
603
424
8
58.3
41.0
0.8
608
492
7
54.9
44.4
0.6
669
433
60
57.6
37.3
5.2
Special Education Students
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
Not reported
268
14
0
95.0
5.0
323
39
2
88.7
10.7
0.5
252
46
7
82.6
15.1
2.3
Special Education Referrals
Alternative education provided
Alternative education not provided
Not reported
11
1
0
91.7
8.3
6
3
0
66.7
33.3
2
2
0
50.0
50.0
Type of Alternative Education Provided
Home tutoring
In-district alternative program
Alternative program in another district
Private alternative setting
Work/community service setting
Not reported
254
505
28
91
6
3
28.6
56.9
3.2
10.3
0.7
0.3
247
579
14
94
2
6
26.2
61.5
1.5
10.0
0.2
0.6
181
586
16
142
1
3
19.5
63.1
1.7
15.3
0.1
0.3
Reason Alternative Education Was Not Provided
Student moved/transferred
Student refused/did not respond
Student was incarcerated
School chose not to provide it
Not reported
17
88
11
307
16
3.9
20.0
2.5
69.9
3.6
30
80
8
405
15
5.6
14.9
1.5
75.3
2.8
31
153
21
186
93
6.4
31.6
4.3
38.4
19.2

The provision of alternative education varied by the length of the exclusion. Exactly 81 percent of regular education students who were excluded from school for one year were provided with alternative education. About 45 percent of regular education students who were excluded for 14 to 29 days received alternative education, and slightly more than 76 percent of regular education students who were excluded for 30 to 59 days were provided with alternative education. Just under 67 percent of regular education students who were excluded for 60 to 179 days received alternative education, and approximately 61 percent of regular education students who were excluded for 180 to 364 days were provided with alternative education. Slightly more than 15 percent of regular education students who were excluded permanently received alternative education.

Table 6. Distribution of School Districts by Number of Exclusions

 1997-981996-97<>1995-96
Number of Exclusions#%#%#%
019956%20056%21361%
1-39126%9025%7421%
4-94312%4212%4413%
10-19134%154%93%
20-4931%41%51%
50-9921%1%10%
100 or more31%31%31%

Over half of the 354 school districts reported no student exclusions for the 1997-98 school year. A total of 155 districts, or 44 percent, excluded students from school. Just over one-quarter of districts reported between one and three exclusions. Twenty-one districts, or seven percent of all districts, reported ten or more student exclusions. This is a decrease from the prior year when 24 districts reported ten or more student exclusions.

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Last Updated: April 1, 1999
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