Parents sue CA’s education department alleging Black, Latinx students are harmed by disciplinary practices

Black and Latinx students are disproportionately harmed by the state’s failure to exert oversight and take action against some school district disciplinary practices, including transferring students to alternative and often inferior programs, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by parents and an advocacy group.

The suit alleges that students of color continue to be overrepresented in expulsion and suspension rates reported by school districts annually and that the state has not done enough to address the disparity. It also alleges that lax state intervention and reporting policies allow school districts to mask some disciplinary practices by transferring students to alternative schools, where honors and advanced placement courses are not often offered and college-required courses may not always be available.

State policy requires school districts to publicly report expulsions and suspensions, but not student transfers.

Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction, and the California Department of Education are named as defendants in the suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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