A review of data tabulated by Florida school districts and provided to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) shows that the Leon County out-of-school suspension rate in 2021-22 was 11.0%. This rate is 80% higher than the statewide rate of 6.1%.
The out-of-school suspension rate was calculated by dividing the number of annual out-of-school suspensions by the “student membership” for the respective year.
For example, in 2021-22 LCS reported “student membership” of 31,769 with 3,493 out-of-school suspensions, for a 11.0% rate (3,493/31,769).
The graph below compares this data beginning in 2013-14 for Leon County school district, the Alachua County (Gainesville) school district, and the state of Florida. The 2019-20 & 2020-21 years were not included due to the impact of the COVID pandemic.
The graph shows that the LCS out-of-school suspension rate was consistently between 7-8% from 2013-2017.
During this period, the state average exhibited a declining trend, moving from just over 6.0% in 2013 to 5.2% in 2017. The Alachua County school district followed the same trend, with the out-of-school suspension rate falling from 7.0% in 2013 to 6.4% in 2017.
However, in the 2017-18 school year, the LCS out-of-school suspension rate increased from 7.0% to 8.9% while the Alachua County school district and the state reported rates below 6.0%.
The latest data reported to FDOE show the LCS out-of-school suspension rate continues to increase at rates greater than in the Alachua County school district (7.7%) and the state average. In 2021-22, the LCS out-of-school suspension rate was 11.0%, almost double the 6.2% rate reported for the state.
TR has requested the LCS out-of-school suspension data for 2022-23.