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at-risk students, black education, disparities, educational policy, race


Much work has documented that African-American students are more likely to receive expulsions and suspensions than their white peers. These disparities are troubling, but researchers and policymakers need more information to fully understand this issue. We use three years of student level discipline data for an entire state to assess whether non-white students are receiving different disciplinary consequences from their white peers in the same schools, for similar infractions and with similar behavioral history. We find that Black students received more severe (longer) punishments than their White peers in the state for the same types of infractions. These differences are due primarily to school-level differences, but even within the same schools, Black students receive slightly longer punishments than their White peers.