Virginia to Tighten Review of School Discipline

July 17, 2011

The Virginia Department of Education says it plans to improve how it monitors school divisions that report disparities in student suspension and expulsion rates.

The U.S. Department of Education found Virginia failed to review policies, procedures and practices at school divisions that reported wide disparities in disciplinary actions taken against disabled versus non-disabled students. The federal agency said Virginia didn't scrutinize the 23 districts reporting such discrepancies in 2009-10 as required by law.

State education spokesman Charles Pyle said Wednesday his agency intends to follow up with school divisions to review policies and practices that might contribute to disparities in long-term suspensions and expulsions.

The findings were part of a review of states' compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Virginia met IDEA requirements on most other measures.

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