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Racial Disparities Persist in Connecticut School Arrest Rates

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A new report from Connecticut Voices for Children shows that school arrests have decreased significantly in Connecticut. But the decline wasn't nearly as steep for black and mixed race students.

Thanks to declining student enrollment and a host of programs aimed at decreasing student arrests, the arrest rate in Connecticut dropped a whopping 45 percent from 2101 to 2014.

But when those numbers are broken down by race, a disparity emerges.

The arrest rate dropped 71 percent for Asian students, 49 percent for Latino students, and 47 percent for white students -- but only 37 percent for black students, and 35 percent for mixed-race students.

School arrests are associated with lower graduation rates, lower academic achievement, and other negative outcomes.

Advocacy group Connecticut Voices for Children, which compiled the data, said the overall numbers are encouraging, but cautioned that further research needs to be done to understand why programs and policy aimed at curbing student arrests are less effective for black and mixed-race students.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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