House Bill Takes Aim at Suspensions

Apr 2, 2014

Rhode Island’s House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare has scheduled testimony Wednesday on a bill seeking to reduce the use of “out of school” suspensions in public schools.

The bill would also require education officials to collect and analyze discipline data to determine how policies are affecting minority students.

The proposal comes after federal and local research showing that suspensions are disproportionately given out to students of color. The American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Rhode Island has called for action to stem the disparities and plans to have a representative testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

Also on Wednesday, the HEC has scheduled a second round of testimony on bills that would halt a new policy tying test scores to high school diplomas. The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a vote on Thursday on a similar bill, but advocates say they expect it to be held for further study.