Will charter school be required to have in-school suspension re:

148th General Assembly
Senate Bill 239

 

Co-Sponsors:

Sens. Hall-Long, McDowell, Poore, Sokola; Reps. Bolden, Keeley, Lynn, Paradee, K. Williams


Introduced On:

05/03/2016


Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LAWFUL AUTHORITY OF TEACHERS OVER PUPILS.


Synopsis of Original Bill:

(without Amendments)

According to data provided by the Delaware Department of Education (“DOE”), thousands of Delaware students receive out-of-school suspensions each year for minor infractions, such as being unprepared or late for class, dress code violations, and disrespectful behavior. In 2013, only 2% of out-of-school suspensions were for serious offenses such as weapons, drugs, or serious violence. Out-of-school suspensions do not address the root causes for the misbehavior, and only serve to put the students further behind in class. Furthermore, DOE data shows that, in 2013, African-American students made up only 32% of the student body, but accounted for 62% of out-of-school suspension, and students with disabilities made up 13% of the student body, but accounted for 24% of out-of-school suspensions.

Delaware, like many states around the U.S., is part of a disturbing trend known as the “school to prison pipeline.” New federal discipline guidance, developed jointly by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, instruct schools to commit to regular evaluation of school discipline policies and practices, and monitor progress toward the schools’ climate and discipline goals. This process requires schools to first collect and publicly report disaggregated student discipline data, and solicit feedback from students, staff, families, and community representatives.

This Act furthers those goals by replacing out-of-school suspensions with more effective and restorative interventions, and require school districts and charter schools that suspend defined numbers of students or suspensions disparities to take meaningful corrective action by implementing restorative justice practices and smart discipline advisory committees. The schools in need of intervention are defined schools with high rates of suspension in the following categories:

(1) All students.
(2) Students belonging to 1 or more subgroups, such as students of specified racial subgroups or with disabilities.
(3) Schools with a significant disparity in suspension rates between racial subgroups or between students with disabilities and students without disabilities.

This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the guidelines of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.

Author: Senator Henry


Current Status:

Senate Education Committee   On  05/03/2016

Laced within this legislation is the underlying issue of disparities in discipline of white and black students.

” In 2013, only 2% of out-of-school suspensions were for serious offenses such as weapons, drugs, or serious violence.”

This notation suggest the 98% of other reasons for out-of-school suspension was minor and trivial. However, let’s be real! Most of the 98% is for disrespectful and disruptive behaviors. Also, fighting.

Sure it all makes sense , out-of-school suspensions takes away from learning! But if learning is that important to these kids and parents, why in the hell don’t they follow the rules?

What will happen here is many of these kids will be dumped back in the classroom because there is not funding for in-school suspension.

As far as the minority factors, the root cause may be racism on part of the school staff. Teachers will be once again required to suck it up and allow disruptive students take more control of the classroom. 

Looks like once again U.S. Department of Education has their nose in local control. Folks there is no money to support expansion of in-school intervention for these kids.

Perhaps there should be legislation holding parents more accountable for their child’s class room behavior! Make mom or dad come in as sit with their darling disruptive child.

As far as children with disabilities, obviously some have less self-control than those who don’t have disabilities.

Will this legislation apply to many cash-strapped charter schools? Funding needs to be a factor in consideration of passage of this legislation.      

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