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Fewer Seattle students are getting suspended, expelled, data show

Suspensions and expulsions are down in Seattle Public Schools. The district's discipline rates mirror a statewide trend.

When kids get kicked out of school — for a week or for good — they miss out on education.

That's why districts across the country are being pressured to lower exclusionary discipline rates, especially for those kids most likely to be punished: students of color, those with disabilities and homeless children.

Newly released data show that in the 2015-16 school year, Washington state districts lowered their suspension and expulsion rates for all groups.

Seattle did even better than the state average.

But state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal says that while the trend is good, wide gaps persist.

Black, Latino and Native students and those with disabilities are far more likely to be kicked out of school for the same infractions as their white and typically-developing peers.

In Seattle, the district has been under federal investigation for years for its disproportionate discipline rates.

The state education department is using the data it collects from districts to establish new rules about student discipline.

Those are scheduled to go into effect next year.

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