The Suspension Penalty and What Helps Kids Get Back on Track to Graduate
Date:  10-09-2015

Those who drop out of school after being suspended have less chance of obtaining middle class status as adults
The American dream includes being able to afford more than just the basics in life. A good-paying job, one’s own home in a desirable community, and being able to provide well for one’s children are a part of what middle-class citizens consider important. Achieving that goal is considered success, but for some, the goal is out of reach and can be traced back to childhood education and school suspension.

Numerous studies have proven that the school-to-prison pipeline is fed by school suspensions which disrupt a child’s education. Some suspensions lead to involvement in the criminal justice system and getting “back on track” after release from a juvenile facility can be difficult. Even if a suspension does not lead to incarceration the consequences can often be felt well into adulthood.

A new Brookings Institute report re-addresses the fact school suspensions are disproportionately meted out to children of color and those who come from families with a low income, but it also reveals how childhood suspensions among this population can have a negative impact on middle-age earning power and can shut people out of the middle class.

The purpose of the report is to understand how family income, family stability, and maternal education play an important role in keeping a child on the right track and how these key factor, coupled with school suspensions, play an important role in dropping out of school or completing high school.

Read Comeback kids: School suspension and high school graduation here.