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OKCPS School Board Members Express Concern Over Suspension Rates

Some Oklahoma City Public School Board members expressed concern about the district’s suspension rates at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

That's because African American students are still being suspended at a much higher rate than others. Currently African American students are 24 percent of the district’s population, but get 43 percent of the suspensions.

The federal Office of Civil Rights investigated the district for disproportionately suspending black students in 2014- and OKCPS vowed to address the issue.

Overall, suspension numbers are down, but board member Carrie Jacobs told administrators that things aren’t changing fast enough.

"I am just appalled that we're barely moving the needle."

Superintendent Aurora Lora said the district desperately needs more counselors and mental health professionals, but can’t afford them due to budget cuts.

Emily Wendler was KOSU's education reporter from 2015 to 2019.
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