Why are California schools suspending more students than they graduate?

Did you know California public schools suspend more students each year (more than 400,000) than they graduate (382,558 in 2011) ? A special statewide hearing on  Monday, September 10, with students and education and civil rights leaders will look at the reasons why and focus on solutions that work.

Read the press advisory:

‘WHY ARE CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS SUSPENDING MORE STUDENTS THAN THEY GRADUATE?”
STATEWIDE HEARING EXAMINES THE PROBLEM AND OFFERS SOLUTIONS
WITH KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY RUSSLYNN H. ALI, ASST. SECRETARY OF CIVIL RIGHTS, U.S. DEPT OF EDUCATION

On September 10,  The California Endowment will join the offices of California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in sponsoring a statewide hearing , titled “Why Are California Schools Suspending More Students Than They Graduate?”

California schools suspend more than 400,000 students a year, and the majority of suspensions are unrelated to violence or drugs, according to state and federal data.  The hearing will feature youth, community leaders, researchers, educators and policy experts who will discuss the reasons behind the overuse of school discipline, the impact on youth and communities, and alternatives to suspension that are effective for all students.

The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, Russlynn H. Ali will highlight new federal data documenting the overuse of suspensions and expulsions in schools, especially among youth of color. As assistant secretary, Ali is responsible for enforcing the U.S. civil rights laws as they pertain to education at the U.S. Department of Education.

The hearing will include the release of new California school discipline policies and program research from Ed Source with findings from the first-ever survey of California school districts about their discipline policies and programs.  Ed Source is a leading source of education research, policy and information in California.

The California Endowment, through the statewide “Health Happens in Schools” campaign, supports common-sense school discipline approaches that keep kids in school while holding them accountable for their behavior and helping them learn from mistakes.  Even one suspension increases the chances that students will drop out and become involved with the criminal justice system.  Completing high school is linked not only to economic opportunity but also to lifelong health benefits.

WHAT: Statewide Hearing on School Discipline Policies in California

WHO:  Sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the Office of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and The California Endowment.

Supported by:  ACLU of California, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Black Organizing Project, Black Parallel School Board, Brothers Sons Selves Coalition, CADRE, Children’s Defense Fund-California, Dignity in Schools – Los Angeles Chapter, Education Development Center Inc., Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Labor Community Strategy Center, PolicyLink, Public Counsel, The Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Youth Justice Coalition, Youth Leadership Institute

WHEN: Monday, September 10, 3pm – 6pm

WHERE: Los Angeles Public Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth Street, Los Angeles CA

Watch FixSchoolDiscipline.org for updates from the special hearing. Are you a reporter interested in covering? Contact Manny Rivera at 323-892-2080.

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