ECS Resource Analyzes Recent School Discipline Legislation
February 9, 2018

A recent series of reports provides data on discipline legislation in states, without taking a stand on this divisive issue.

The Education Commission of the States resource includes three policy snapshots of school discipline-related legislative activity: alternatives to punitive and exclusionary discipline, restrictions on suspensions and expulsions, and mandating reporting for restraint and seclusion. Each brief provides context for the specific issue area, reviews proposed and enacted legislation from 2015-2017, and includes links to additional resources. Key data points include:

  • In 2017, suspension and expulsion legislation was proposed in 18 states and enacted in five states. Most of this legislation focused on restricting suspensions/expulsions by grade level and type of infraction, limiting the length of exclusion, implementing reporting requirements, and supporting re-engagement.
  • From 2016 to 2017, six states (California, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Utah, and Virginia) successfully enacted legislation related to alternative school discipline strategies. Common themes in this legislation included implementing professional development and mandating further study of alternatives.
  • Of the three highlighted issue areas, restraint and seclusion legislation was introduced and enacted in the highest number of states in 2017, and typically focused on limiting and reporting the use of these practices.

PIE Network partners have also released school discipline-related resources in recent months. A report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute analyzes the results of changes to discipline policies in Philadelphia schools. And an analysis from the Center for American Progress examines school discipline data from New York City and Los Angeles. Educators for Excellence, Stand for Children, and The Education Trust have also weighed in on this topic.

Interested in connecting with other advocates on this issue? Please reach out.

Christina Dobratz

Christina is PIE Network's Project Manager, Communications & Policy  

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