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Education

Lehner Proposes Ending Expulsions and Suspensions For Young Students

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ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A state senator wants to toss out the idea of expulsions for kids who are in third grade or younger. The lawmaker says this can go a long way to closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged students.

Republican Sen. Peggy Lehner is proposing the ban on expulsions and out-of-school suspensions.

 Lehner says there’s a clear link between suspensions and drop in academic achievement among students who are minorities, disabled or from low-income families.

 “When suspended a child is robbed of days and often weeks of learning every year.”

There were 36,000 suspensions among preschoolers through third graders last school year. Of those suspended, 90% were economically disadvantaged.

Lehner’s proposal still allows a school to expel a student based on violent behavior.