Fifty-State Survey of State Education Agencies’ Online School Disciplinary Data

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) has collaborated with the UCLA Civil Rights Project’s Center for Civil Rights Remedies to extract information from all 50 State Education Agency (SEA) websites to compile publicly reported school disciplinary data. The findings are shown below with summaries of student disciplinary data for each state. Information in the table was corroborated by SEA staff. Although most states offer additional data on disciplinary actions upon request, this web-based tool only uses data readily available to the public online.

How the Data Are Collected  

Initial SEA website surveys were conducted between August 2012 and May 2013. As a first step, researchers went to each state’s (and the District of Columbia’s) department of education website to ascertain what discipline data were made publicly available. More specifically, researchers tried to determine the following: a) if suspension/expulsion data were located on the state’s department of education website and b) if so, were the data disaggregated by subpopulations (i.e., grade level, school level, race/ethnicity, gender, and special education designation)? If the researchers were unable to find discipline data, they contacted the SEA to inquire how the data may be obtained. The information for each state was also sent to each SEA asking for any updates or corrections. State data systems often undergo changes in the type and level of information that is collected and shared. Accordingly, updates will periodically be made to the 50-state table (with the dates of recent updates noted on the web page). The CSG Justice Center and Center for Civil Rights Remedies are not responsible for any inaccuracies in these data from the states or for any outdated information.  

How to Use the 50-State Table

The states and the District of Columbia are listed in the left-most column of the 50-State Summary. Type of data, disaggregating factors, and available discipline reports (i.e., campus-level, district-level, and/or state-level discipline reports) are listed across the first row of the table. “Yes” indicates that a state reports on the indicator listed at the top of a column. “No” indicates that a state does not report the indicator. 

Definitions of Terms Used in The 50 States Summary Table:

 SuspensionsThe number of in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, or the sum of both is provided. Students may be represented in this count more than once if they have received multiple suspensions.
 ExpulsionsThe number of expulsions is provided. Students may be represented in this count more than once if they have received multiple expulsions.
 Students SuspendedThe number of students suspended in school, out of school, or the sum of both is provided and each student is counted a single time. (If a student is suspended multiple times, those acts would be aggregated in the number of suspensions below.)
 Students ExpelledThe number of students expelled is provided and each student is counted a single time.
 OffenseThe type of offense that resulted in disciplinary action is provided (e.g., drug-related, assault).
 Race or EthnicityGenerally includes the following categories: African-American/Black, American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, White, and Multi-Racial.
 GenderDisciplinary data are provided by male/female designation.
 Special EducationDisciplinary data are provided by special education designation.
 Grade LevelDisciplinary data are provided by grade level (i.e., 1st grade, 2nd grade…12th grade).
 School LevelDisciplinary data are provided by elementary, middle, and/or high school. Any exceptions will be noted by an asterisk.
 State/District/Campus LevelDisciplinary data are aggregated and reports are provided at the state, district, or campus level.

Please contact Rebecca Cohen with any relevant updates or questions. For related resources, see our School Discipline Consensus Project and The Civil Rights Project.

Summary

The summary table below shows aggregate counts of the states that report on each of the indicators from the overview table. Several summary points are also highlighted below:

  • Ten states (20 percent) do not publicly report on any school discipline data on their SEA website
  • Less than half of the states (43 percent) publicly report on their SEA website how many students are suspended annually
  • Only one out of three states disaggregates disciplinary data by race in their SEA website reporting