New Study Finds Adjusting Discipline Methods Could Benefit Texas Schools

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ahead of a joint meeting today of the Senate education and criminal justice committees that will address school discipline, a new study suggests that adjusting disciplinary policy could improve results at Texas public schools while saving money at the same time.

The study, released Monday by the nonprofit Texas Appleseed, which advocates for juvenile justice reforms, looks at exclusionary discipline — methods like out-of-school suspension, expulsion and removal to juvenile justice programs — in 11 major Texas school districts.

The study uses district data about discipline referral rates, districts’ spending data on various discipline methods, studies on various alternative discipline methods, and data about average costs for these alternatives. Its findings suggest that districts spend more money on exclusionary programs and get lagging results when compared with alternative discipline techniques designed to keep students in their schools and address social and emotional issues underlying most discipline problems.

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