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2. Students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be suspended as students without disabilities, and the loss of instructional time increases the risk of repeating a grade and dropping out.

Of the 2.8 million K–12 students who received out-of-school suspensions in 2013–2014, 700,000 had Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)6. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of total disciplinary removals among students with IEPs involved students with SLD or OHI.

The disproportionate rates of out-of-school suspension increase dramatically for students of color who have disabilities. As shown in the chart below, 1 in 4 black males with IEPs received out of school suspensions in 2013-2014 compared to 1 in 10 white males with IEPs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides protections for students with disabilities by setting specific rules about discipline that schools must follow. For example, if a student is suspended for a total of more than 10 days in one school year, the school must provide special education services to allow the student to make progress on his or her IEP goals.