Education board makes announcements

Black school students suspended more often

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has received a report saying that African American students are disciplined at a higher rate than other groups

The report said that although Black students make up 44 percent of the student population, they receive 63 percent of in-school suspensions, 67 percent of out-of-school suspensions and 68 percent of expulsions.

The report, based on a legislative resolution sponsored by Sen. Sharon Weston Broome (D-Baton Rouge), mirrors nationwide data. Across the country there have been calls to establish “restorative justice” plans that rely more on remediation than on suspension and expulsion.

LSU gets contract to assist special education law

BESE awarded a $251,000 contract to the LSU Human Development Center to help implement a new law that is intended to help some special education students earn a high school diploma.

The act passed in the 2014 legislative session allows Individual Education Program teams to develop alternate paths to high school diplomas for special education students who qualify. The new IEPs could grant diplomas to special education students who fail standardized tests that are required for graduation.
The new IEPs were supposed to be in place at the start of this school year, but school districts received little guidance from the Department of Education on how to implement the law.

The contract calls for the Human Development Center to provide guidance and training for IEP teams that are implementing the new plan.