On Aug. 6, 2012, then-Gov. Deval Patrick signed “An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School,” the state’s first comprehensive effort to reduce public school suspensions.
The act, known as Chapter 222, took effect on July 1, 2014, so the 2014-15 school year was the first for which any meaningful data could be gathered.
So far, the law appears to have had a positive effect. Suspensions in the 2014-15 academic year were down 20 percent over the year before. Some 10,000 fewer Massachusetts public school students were taken out of school.
Presumably, those students’ continued presence in the classroom conferred some educational benefit upon them, and made it less likely that they would wind up dropping out of school altogether. And with another academic year now drawing to a close, we can soon expect to have a second year of data to analyze.
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