Less Than 1 Percent of Pre-K Kids are Suspended Each Year

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In the spirit of the old-school blogosphere, I give you Shorter Bob Somerby™:

There are 1 million kids in public preschools in the United States. In 2012, about 8,000 of them were suspended. Is that really a lot?

Good question! That’s less than 1 percent, which doesn’t immediately strike me as “astounding”—Melinda Anderson’s description in the Atlantic a couple of days ago. It means that out of every five pre-K classrooms, about one child is suspended per year.

The racial disparities in preschool suspensions are disturbing, and it’s possible that the overall suspension rate has increased a lot lately, which would also be disturbing if true. But we have no data prior to 2012, so we don’t know.

It’s also possible that suspension is just flatly inappropriate for 3-year olds, in which case even 1 percent is too high a number. But Anderson doesn’t really make that case either.

So do we have a real problem here? Beats me.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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