AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Are Students with Disabilities Disproportionately Suspended from U.S. Schools?
Authors: Paul L. Morgan, George Farkas, Marianne Hillemeier, Steven Maczuga
Students with disabilities (SWD) are thought to be disproportionately suspended from U.S. schools, thereby increasing their likelihood of entering the “school-to-prison pipeline” through suspension’s associations with lower academic achievement, dropout, juvenile delinquency, and adult criminality. Yet whether and, if so, which SWD are disproportionately suspended is currently unclear. Poisson regression modeling of a population-based and longitudinal sample (N=8,560) indicated that having a disability initially predicted an increased risk for suspension by 8th grade. Statistical control for potential confounding factors (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, family socioeconomic status, frequency of externalizing problem behaviors, school-level racial and economic composition) explained this risk. Only students with learning disability or the behavioral disability of emotional disturbance were at increased risk for suspension compared to non-disabled students