State education reform law results in fewer students being expelled

DENVER - Fewer Colorado students are being expelled in the wake of statewide reforms, according to a new study.

The results, activists say, amplify Colorado's voice in a growing nationwide debate over whether discipline measures are setting students -- particularly those from minority communities -- on a path to prison and failure.

The study was released Friday by Padres y Jovenes Unidos. The group, which has worked on the issue for more than two decades, analyzed data for 2012-13, the first full school year since the adoption of Colorado's 2012 Smart School Discipline law. It found an overall 25 percent drop from the previous year in expulsion rates, but also that black students were almost four times as likely to be suspended, expelled or referred to law enforcement authorities as white students.

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