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D.C.'s Charter Schools Look At Suspension, Expulsion Rates

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D.C.'s public charter schools are examining discipline alternatives after last year's suspension and expulsion numbers showed that more than 300 students were expelled for 10 days for one incident.
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D.C.'s public charter schools are examining discipline alternatives after last year's suspension and expulsion numbers showed that more than 300 students were expelled for 10 days for one incident.

Approximately 330 charter school students in the District were suspended for 10 days or more as punishment for one incident during the last academic year. Approximately 230 were expelled. 

The charter school suspension rate is approximately 1 percent and expulsion rate is a little lower. Each charter school sets its own discipline policy and students can be suspended or expelled for different reasons.

Long term suspension and expulsion can have lasting negative effects, research shows. Students who are suspended from attending school are more likely to fall behind academically and drop out. Students who drop out are more likely to be incarcerated. 

Many of D.C.'s charter schools are "reexamining their discipline policies" in light of this research, D.C. public charter school board executive director Scott Pearson said in a written statement. Alternatives to suspension include disciplining students in school through methods including counseling and conflict mediation. 

Friendship Collegiate Woodson charter school expelled the most students last year — 56 — followed by YouthBuild, which expelled 30 students and KIPP DC College Prep, which expelled 17. 

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