Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement

The CSG Justice Center, in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, released a statewide study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students, followed for at least six years. Among its startling findings are that the majority of students were suspended or expelled between seventh to twelfth grade.

This report describes the results of an extraordinary analysis of millions of school and juvenile justice records in Texas. It was conducted to improve policymakers’ understanding of who is suspended and expelled from public secondary schools, and the impact of those removals on students’ academic performance and juvenile justice system involvement. Like other states, school suspensions—and, to a lesser degree, expulsions—have become relatively common in Texas. For this reason and because Texas has the second largest public school system in the nation (where nonwhite children make up nearly two-thirds of the student population), this study’s findings have significance for—and relevance to—states across the country.

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Open Society Foundations, this study also found that when students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.

Population of focus: Youth in Texas Public Schools

Link to resource: http://justicecenter.csg.org/resources/juveniles/report#rpt

Organization: Council of State Governments Justice Center

Date: 2011