Youth Engagement >> School Suspension & Expulsion

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Students who have been suspended or expelled are more likely to fail courses, drop out of high school, and become involved in the juvenile justice system, any of which can limit future educational and employment opportunities. Some research suggests that in schools with higher suspension rates performance may be impaired even among students who are not suspended.

In King County school districts in 2016:

  • The highest discipline rate in King County in 2016 was 4.3%, in Renton School District.
  • The lowest discipline rate in 2016 (in King County districts with more than 50 students) was in Mercer Island School District, at 0.2%.

The visualization, presented on the website of Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) enables users to see, by school district, the percent of students who have been suspended and expelled each school year.  You can explore differences between school districts by exclusion type, behavior, and student subgroup.

  • To find King County school districts, go to “Select ESD,” click “(All)” to de-select; then select Puget Sound Educational Service District 121. 
  • Choose the type of disciplinary action by going to “Select Exclusion Type.”  The choices are any, expulsions, long-term suspensions, and short-term suspensions.
  • Causes of disciplinary actions are detailed under “Select Behavior.” To look at overall rates, you’ll want to start with “All Behavior Types.”
  • The panel below the Discipline Rate chart will then display disciplinary data for King County school districts, plus a few others.

You can also filter by district demographics (box on right), which include total enrollment, percent low-income students, percent English Language Learners, and percent students in special education.  In 2016, for example …

  • Looking only at districts where at least 50% of students qualified for free or reduced-priced school meals (low-income), 4 King County districts (Renton, Tukwila, Auburn, and Federal Way) had discipline rates above the state average of 3.6% and 3 (Skykomish, Highline, and Kent) had discipline rates below the state average.
  • Only 2 districts (Tukwila and Highline) had student populations where at least 20% of students were English Language Learners. As previously noted, Tukwila’s discipline rate was above and Highline’s was below the state average.

Click on the District Detail tab and select a school district to see discipline rates by race/ethnicity and 7 different sub-groups of students. You can also look at each district’s Composition Index for these groups.  The composition index measures whether students are suspended at a rate proportional to their representation in the total student population. A composition index greater than 1 indicates a group is disproportionately impacted by exclusions.  For example, in 2016 …

  • In Vashon Island School District, special education students comprised 13.9% of enrolled students but 58.6% of expulsions and suspensions, yielding a composition index of 4.2.
  • Migrant students in Auburn School District represented only 0.3% of enrollment, but were suspended or expelled at a rate of 0.9%.  The composition index for migrant students in Auburn was 3.4
  • In Issaquah School District, females comprise 49.1% of students but only 17.2% of suspensions and expulsions, for a composition index of 0.4