Information Services - Statistical Reports
Student Exclusions 1999 - 2000
I am pleased to issue our annual report, Student Exclusions in Massachusetts Public Schools: 1999-00. This report provides information regarding student exclusions, defined as the removal of a student from school for disciplinary reasons for more than ten consecutive school days, including permanent or indefinite removals. This information will be useful to the legislature, the Governor, and the Board of Education as they continue to address the issues of student discipline and school safety.
The Education Reform Act of 1993 and subsequent amendments authorize school principals, rather than school committees, to expel students who carry weapons or illegal drugs to school, assault school personnel, or are convicted of a felony while off school grounds. Districts are not required to provide excluded students with alternative education, with the exception of special education students who, under federal law, are entitled to receive alternative education if removed from school for ten days or more.
Summary of Key Findings
In the 1999-00 school year, there were 1,412 student exclusions, an increase of six percent from the 1,326 exclusions in the prior year. Although the total number of exclusions in 1999-00 had increased from the previous two years, it was six percent lower than school year 1996-97, which had 1,498 student exclusions.
In comparison to the total student enrollment, a disproportionate number of students excluded from school were African American and Hispanic. Twenty percent of all exclusions involved a student with a weapon on school premises, a decrease of four percentage points from the previous year. Seventy percent of all students who were excluded from school were provided with alternative education, an increase of five percentage points from the 1998-99 school year.
Exclusion rates varied among school districts. Of the 371 school districts in 1999-00, 137 districts, or 37 percent, excluded students from school. Of these 137 districts reporting student exclusions, 96 percent reported fewer than ten exclusions and the remaining four percent, or 16 districts, reported ten or more student exclusions. This is a decrease from the prior year when 23 districts reported ten or more student exclusions.
We appreciate the efforts that school districts are making to ensure safe and orderly school environments and to provide serious learning opportunities for all students. Safe learning surroundings at school are essential to an effective education. Many districts do an outstanding job in providing most or all of the students they exclude with an alternative education. This is a very important goal statewide, and school districts must continue to make safe, effective schools a top priority.
If you have any questions or suggestions about the report, please contact:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Information Services and Technology
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
David P. Driscoll
Commissioner of Education
Information Services - Statistical ReportsTable of Contents
Data File: (XLS format)