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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: expulsions

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April 10, 2014 at 5:00 AM

New rules for school discipline: Time for the public to weigh in

Illustration by Paul Tong / Op Art

Illustration by Paul Tong / Op Art

State lawmakers passed a new law last year that, for the first time, puts a one-year limit on how long students can be suspended or expelled from school, with exceptions for those who pose a risk to public safety.

The new law also requires school districts to work with students and their parents on a plan to get students back in school.

Some of the provisions are pretty clear-cut, though many details have yet to be finalized — including just what those reentry plans should look like and what role students and parents might have in developing them.

The state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has come up with its proposals, and is now soliciting the public’s views. Comments and recommendations can be submitted by mail, email or fax — see details below. A public hearing is scheduled for May 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at OSPI’s offices, 234 8th Ave. in Olympia.

Some of the groups that lobbied for the law are expected to lobby for changes they’d like to see. The League of Education Voters, for example, would like districts to be required to meet with students and their parents as part of drawing up a plan to return to school. OSPI’s proposed rules say districts should do that, but not that they must.


Comments | More in News | Topics: discipline, expulsions, League of Education Voters

January 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Highline schools cut suspensions, expulsions in half

Screenshot of a graph from Highline School District

Screenshot of a graph from the Highline School District

The Highline School District recently set a goal of ending expulsions and out-of-school suspensions by 2015, except in cases of student or school safety.

It’s already well on the way to reaching that target.  

As of the end of November, the district was projecting about 847 out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for this school year, which would be just a little more than half of last year’s total, and less than a third of the 3,193 in 2007-08.

In some schools, the decrease has been even more dramatic. Cascade Middle, for example, suspended just three students from September through November this school year, compared with 41 the year before.


Comments | More in News | Topics: discipline, expulsions, Highline School District