W.Va. Board Receives National Grant for School Discipline

June 17, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Board of Education is among three states chosen to receive grants to revise and implement new state student discipline policies that limit the use of out-of-school punishments.

The grants from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) are part of a project on Examining and Reforming State Disciplinary Policies from a State-Level Perspective. Grants also were awarded to Georgia and Michigan. All three states are working to decrease out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, improve discipline reporting and reduce law enforcement referrals.

The West Virginia Board of Education has worked to strengthen state policy to comprehensively address behavior and safety to create supportive learning conditions. This grant will allow the board to continue to address the issue so that more children remain in school.

West Virginia's task force on student discipline is working on comprehensive statewide and county-level reports of disciplinary incidents and using the information to establish goals to improve school discipline practices. It also is preparing a trend analysis of school climate and culture improvement outcomes from the growing body of data collected across the state

"Many states are starting to consider alternatives to out-of-school punishment of students, especially when it is clear minority groups are disproportionately disciplined in these ways," said NASBE Interim Executive Director Brad Hull. "Research shows us that students who are ejected from school are more likely to drop out and wind up in the criminal justice system. There are no simple solutions here, but when students are not in school, they cannot succeed. And when that happens, we all lose."

NASBE'S school discipline project and the state grants are funded through an agreement with The Atlantic Philanthropies. The grants were awarded on a competitive basis, and all applications were reviewed by an outside review panel.

For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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