National, state, and El Paso school district data underscore that children of color and poverty:
What do we mean by disproportionately high probability and what is minority over representation? It means that if you visited one of our juvenile delinquency courts, you’d find that the number of children of color who appear there is out of proportion to their population within El Paso County.
For example, within the 4thJudicial District, which includes El Paso and Teller counties, African-American juveniles aged 10-17 account for 5 percent of the population. The following graphic shows the disproportionate percentages based on race. For more information, use this link: https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/Data/SB185/Map/MapFrameJD.html?District=4
In its 2017 Annual Report, the Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice issued the following summary:
Overall, the statewide analysis revealed the following:
According to a Sentencing Project report for 2003 to 2013, racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system continue to grow nationally. Meanwhile, total arrests and the total numbers of youth in placement have fallen. The trends suggest that successful reforms by agencies such as the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice have led to fewer overall arrests – a trend that is not being shared equally among all youth.
How ethnically diverse are El Paso County’s school districts?
The Colorado Department of Education reports the following on racial diversity without El Paso County’s school districts.
School Dropout Rates:
Data provided by the Colorado Department of Education for 2017 show that El Paso County’s largest school district – District 11 – has higher dropout rates than the rest of the state and that the Falcon 49 District has the highest dropout rate at 9.4 percent. Higher dropout rates are often due to results from alternative schools.
The following chart provides information on graduation rates for our county’s largest school districts. Lower graduation rates districtwide often are due to results from alternative schools. For example, Colorado Springs School District 11's four-year graduation rate is 69 percent, the same as the previous year. The number includes seven alternative high schools, which often have many students at risk of dropping out due to various issues.
The four-year graduation rate among D-11's four traditional high schools is 79.05 percent.
Falcon School District 49 has the area's lowest graduation rate, of 58 percent. The district has four alternative high schools, with graduation rates that include 38 percent at Goal Academy, an online school. The average graduation rate among D-49's three traditional high schools is 85.1 percent.
A report from the Government Accountability Office released in March this year found that black students are still disciplined at school disproportionately, compared to their peers. The GAO's analysis found that in the 2013-2014 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, black students accounted for 15.5% of all public school students, but represented about 39% of students suspended from school. To read the entire report, please see: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/690828.pdf
According to the report:
“Research has shown that students who experience discipline that removes them from the classroom are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of school, and become involved in the juvenile justice system. Studies have shown this can result in decreased earning potential and added costs to society, such as incarceration and lost tax revenue.”
In the 2016-2017 school year, Colorado’s school districts reported suspensions and expulsion by the Type of Incident and by the Race/Ethnicity and Gender of students involved. The chart below reflects the Race/Ethnicity of the students who were suspended and/or expelled in El Paso County’s largest school districts.
Because a student could be suspended more than one time in a school year or could be suspended and later expelled, these tables reflect the number of students by incident. They also contain an Unduplicated Count of students.
The root of achievement disparity for every child in our community is poverty. The official poverty rate for the United States in 2016 was 12.7 percent, down 0.8 percentage points from 13.5 percent in 2015. The poverty rate for African-Americans decreased to 22.0 percent in 2016, down from 24.1 percent in 2015. The poverty rate for Hispanics decreased to 19.4 percent in 2016, down from 21.4 percent in 2015. (US Census Bureau: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2016).
The following table provides information on poverty statistics for El Paso County.