When the new academic year begins this fall, public school students who are expelled or suspended will face entirely different fates in many cases.
That's because Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation into law giving principals and superintendents more options in dealing with at-risk and troubled students.
Act 831 by Rep. Dee Richard, a Thibodaux independent, will require that students who are expelled or suspended be assigned to a community-based program that addresses both behavioral problems and their continuing education needs.
Based on a 2011 survey from Rasmussen Reports, 68 percent of participants defined discipline in public schools as “too easy.”
But closer to home, Louisiana’s public schools expel students at five times the national rate, based on a report compiled by Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative.
Within the Recovery School District, administered by the state Department of Education and designed to transform underperforming schools and into successful places for children to learn, the expulsion rate is 10 times higher.