Office for Civil Rights Data Releases New Data About Students With Disabilities

The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released data it collected during the 2011-2012 school year.  These data were collected from every school and district in the country, reflecting information about 43 million students without disabilities and 6 million students with disabilities.  OCR reported that:

[S]tudents of certain racial or ethnic groups and students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their peers, beginning in preschool. The CRDC data also show that an increasing number of students are losing important instructional time due to exclusionary discipline.

OCR prepared a data snapshot that summarized some of its findings pertaining to students with disabilities and discipline. Data reveal that high school students with disabilities are retained or held back a grade at higher rates than students without disabilities.  Students with disabilities make up 12% of high school enrollment but 19% of students in high school held back a year.  Students with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended as students without disabilities.  Students with disabilities represent a quarter of students arrested and referred to law enforcement.  Students with disabilities represent 58% of students placed in seclusion and 75% of those physically restrained.  Black students represent 19% of students with disabilities but 36% of students with disabilities restrained using mechanical restraints.  The data snapshot included state-level data.

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