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Advocacy >> Legislation >> Legislation Summaries

Legislation Summaries

Arkansas Law SB1147


The law requires monitoring and reporting of disciplinary measure usage broken down by subgroups—white, non-white, low-income, students with disabilities, and low achieving. These reports shall be annually compiled by the state department of education and submitted to the state board of education and school districts. The report should include updates about reductions in discipline disparities and implementation of alternative discipline strategies. This law also recognizes that exclusionary discipline is detrimental to student learning and bans out-of-school suspension for truancy. Public schools must denote in a student’s record if a student absence was due to an out-of-school suspension.

Effective July 1, 2014. full text

California Law SB274


The new law, adopted in October 2023, extends the existing ban on suspension for minor misbehavior ("disruption or willful defiance") to cover all students from kindergarten readiness programs through 12th grade. The law includes a July 1, 2029 sunset for this elimination for grades 6-12 only, to allow the state to re-evaluate after data has shown the impact of the change. Existing California law provides that students in kindergarten through twelfth grade cannot be expelled for disrupting school activities or willfully defying teachers or other school authorities. full text; background info

>>early childhood

Colorado Law HB12-1345


Requires school districts to attempt to utilize alternatives to exclusionary discipline. Effective August 1, 2013. The law also requires school districts to develop and implement specific behavior plans for students after their first removal from school. full text


Colorado Law HB19-1194

Limits out-of-school suspension for students in grades 2 and below. Effective July 2020. This law prohibits the suspension or expulsion of prekindergarten, kindergarten, first and second graders from public schools (including charters and community preschools) for not more than 3 days with exceptions for certain violent or drug-related offenses or offenses that endanger the health and safety of others. This law also requires the state board to annually review suspension and expulsion data. full text

>>early childhood

Colorado Law HB23-1191

Bans all forms of corporal punishment in Colorado public schools (including charters), licensed child care centers, family child care homes, and specialized group facilities. Effective April 20, 2023. The law defines corporal punishment as the willful infliction of physical pain on a child. It does not include force necessary to stop disturbances that threaten the physical injury of persons in the school, damage to property, or physical injury caused by athletic competitions. Also, Colorado’s Department of Early Childhood will be required to incorporate a corporal punishment prohibition into its child care licensing rules. full text

>>corporal punishment

Connecticut Public Act SB1053


Limits out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one and two. Effective July 1, 2015. Out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for children in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one and two are prohibited unless there has been a determination at a hearing that the student’s conduct was violent or sexual in its nature and endangered others. full text.

>>early childhood


Delaware Law SB85


Requires schools to report discipline data to the state and implement certain changes if irregularities are detected. If a school’s rate of suspension or expulsion is too high (as defined by the Delaware legislature as more than 20 per 100 students) or if their suspension gap is equal to or more than 20%, then the school must conduct a formal review of its discipline policies, incorporate restorative practices, and increase professional development opportunities for teachers and other staff. full text



District of Columbia Law B210001


Limits suspensions and expulsions of preschool students. Effective June 23, 2015. DC law prohibits the suspension or expulsion of a student of per-kindergarten age from any publicly funded per-kindergarten program, unless a school administrator determines that the student has willfully caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury, or threatened serious bodily injury to another person, excluding self-defense. full text.

>>early childhood


District of Columbia Law B22-0594


Limits out-of-school suspension of students in kindergarten through eighth grade to serious safety incidents and bans its utilization in high school for minor offenses. Effective July 11, 2018. If exclusion becomes necessary, the bill protects a child's right to an education while they are off premises and requires a plan for the student to successfully return to the classroom. full text

>>early childhood

Florida Law SB1540


Encourages schools to use alternatives to arrests and exclusionary discipline for all students. Effective July 1, 2008. The law discourages schools from arresting students for minor offenses, and it requires that schools take certain circumstances regarding student misconduct into account before issuing punishments. The law also states that any discipline policy should applied equally to all races. full text



Hawaii S.B. 2486


Requires the State Department of Education (“DOE”) to collect, analyze, and disclose important civil rights data relating to student discipline, the use of seclusion and restraint, school climate, and student achievement. This bill establishes a standardized data collection process for schools and complex areas to maintain records and report data to the department. The DOE must (1) Review the accuracy of data reported by schools and complex areas; (2) Coordinate with the state public charter school commission regarding the collection, analysis, and dissemination of this data from public charter schools; and (3) Analyze and publish the data collected. In addition, the DOE must annually review all data that has been collected pursuant to state and federal law and certify the accuracy of the data. This bill also enshrines in state law certain Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) reporting requirements relating to transgender students and discrimination affecting an entire protected class within schools or school systems, including race, gender, national origin, and English Language learner and disability. Effective September 15, 2020. full text

Illinois Public Act 100-0105


Illinois law, public act 100-0105, prohibits the expulsion of preschool students from publicly funded schools. Effective January 2018. When challenging and persistent behaviors emerge, programs are required to pursue alternative interventions. They must document these efforts plus the involvement of parents or legal guardians. A child may be transitioned to a setting that is better suited to meet his or her need. In these situations, the parent or legal guardian must be a part of the process and approve of the transition plan. Transitions are not considered expulsions. Students may also be removed temporarily if they present a severe safety threat to themselves or their peers. State agencies must adopt rules prohibiting the use of expulsions for persistent and serious challenging behaviors in licensed day care centers, day care homes, and group day care homes that are licensed by the state, but receive no state funds. full text

>>early childhood

Illinois SB 100


Effective September 15, 2016, Illinois law: prohibits the charging of fines or encouraging a student to drop out as disciplinary academic or behavioral measures; requires officials to limit the number and duration of expulsions and suspensions to the greatest extent possible; prohibits school boards from instituting zero tolerance policies which mandate suspension or expulsion unless required by state or federal law; requires that exclusion decisions be made on a case-by-case basis; requires schools to provide a rationale for decisions about the length or suspensions or expulsions; requires that out-of-school suspensions longer than 3 days, expulsions, and disciplinary transfers to alternative schools be ordered only after other behavioral interventions have been attempted, except when the student poses a threat to the school community or disrupts the operation of a school; requires schools to create a policy on re-engagement of formerly excluded students; and clarifies that these policies also apply to charters. full text

Illinois HB 219

This law restricts the use of isolated time out, time out and physical restraint as behavioral interventions in schools. The use of physical restraint and isolated time outs are permitted only if other interventions have been attempted. Isolated time outs are periods of involuntary confinement without a supervising adult. Momentary periods of physical restraint are allowed when a student poses an immediate risk to themselves and others or damage to property. Parents must be informed and a meeting must be set up to discuss the use of these interventions within two days. The law bans the use of chemical, mechanical, and prone restraint (where pressure is applied to hold an individual's face down), placing a child in locked room, a confining space such as a closet or box, or a room where the student cannot be continually observed. The law went into effect on August 13, 2021. full text

>>seclusion and restraint


Indiana Law HB 1421

Requires each school board to create an evidence-based plan to reduce out-of-school-suspension and disparities. Effective March 19, 2018. This law requires district write a discipline plan that limits referrals to law enforcement and arrests to issues of health and safety and encourages restorative justice. full text



Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.444

This law requires statewide data collection of serious school offenses, officer referrals, arrests and charges, and use of exclusionary discipline and corporal punishment disaggregated by sex, race, and grade level. This data should be reported annually and be broken down in the aforementioned ways, but it shall not be personally identifiable. There is also a parental right to request the inspection of the contents of a student’s disciplinary records and to challenge any personally identifiable information. All reported incidents must also be placed in students’ disciplinary records. Effective July 15, 2008. full text


Louisiana Act 148

Any school or parish with a contract with local law enforcement must report the number of employed School Resource Officers (SROs). They must also supply school discipline data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, sex, English language learner status, and disability. This data will include number of suspensions, expulsions, removals, arrests, and referrals, and the information will be reviewed by the Department of Education and published on its website. Enacted July 2019. For background on the issue, read more here. full text.


Maine Law LD 474, Public Law 2021

Prohibits the out-of-school suspensions for students in grade 5 or below unless there is an imminent danger of serious physical injury to the student or others and less restrictive interventions would be ineffective.  Any out-of-school suspension for a student in grade 5 or below may not exceed 3 days of out-of-school suspension. full text

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Maryland Law HB0425

Limits out-of-school suspension for student in grades 2 and below. Effective July 2017. The law prohibits the suspension or expulsion of prekindergarten, kindergarten, first and second grades from public schools for not more than 5 days with exceptions for certain violent or drug-related offenses. full text

>>early childhood

Maryland SB0705


Prohibits the use of seclusion and restraint for behavioral interventions in a local school system, the Maryland School for the Deaf, and the Maryland School for the Blind as a behavioral health intervention. Physical restraint is allowed if a student is a danger to themselves or others and other interventions have been attempted. The law limits the use of seclusion in nonpublic schools that receive funding from the Department of Education for special education and related services. Seclusion must be carefully monitored and reported, including for the Juvenile Services Education Program. full text

>>seclusion and restraint

Massachusetts Act 222

Discourages schools from utilizing exclusionary discipline for minor offenses. The law requires districts and charter schools to include the specific reason for any suspension or expulsion of a student in their yearly data reports to the Department of Education. It requires principals to a create “school-wide education service plan” for any student suspended for 10 days or more. It clarifies the rights of suspended and expelled students to receive educational services while not physically present in school. The law also requires a principal to notify the superintendent in writing of the out-of-school suspension of a student enrolled in kindergarten through third grade and the alleged misconduct that resulted in the suspension before the suspension takes effect. full text

>>early childhood

Michigan Laws HB5618, HB5619, HB5693 & HB5694

HB5618, HB5619, HB5693, HB5694, mandates Michigan public schools to make certain specific considerations and take specific steps before utilizing exclusionary discipline. Effective August 1, 2017. The laws require schools to consider students’ age, disability status, behavior record, and whether the infraction caused significant danger. They also require schools to utilize restorative practices as alternatives to suspensions and expulsions in certain situations. The laws clarify that students can be expelled for weapons offenses, but that is not required by law.

>>alternatives   >>early childhood


Minnesota H.F. No. 33

H.F. No. 33 amends Minnesota State Code Article 5, Sec. 2. [121A.425], to provide “full and equitable participation in preschool and prekindergarten.” This section prohibits the use of disciplinary dismissals for preschool and prekindergarten age children in any early childhood education, voluntary prekindergarten, or other school-based program. The law permits exclusion when non-exclusionary measures have been exhausted, and only in circumstances where there is an ongoing serious safety threat to the child or others. Non-exclusionary discipline may include collaborating with the parents or guardians and community-based support team to devise an alternative form of education, creating a plan alongside parents or guardians detailing the support the child needs to participate in preschool or prekindergarten, or a referral to other support services. full text

>>early childhood

Missouri HB 432

This law prohibits school districts, charter schools, and publicly contracted private providers from using any restraint technique that: obstructs views of the student's face, obstructs his/her respiratory airway or blood circulation, places pressure or weight on or causes the compression of the student's chest or other body parts, endangers the student's life or significantly exacerbates the student's medical condition, is purposely designed to inflict pain or restricts the student from communicating. Other forms of restraint or seclusion may be used only in situations where there is imminent danger of physical harm to self or others. Physical restraint does not include breaking up fights or providing physical escort to a safe location by temporarily holding a hand, shoulder, or wrist. Seclusion forces a student into isolation and they are physically prevented from leaving the room or building. The law went into effect on July 1, 2022. full text

>>seclusion and restraint


Nebraska LB 390


Requires school districts to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to the operation of school resource officer and security guard program. State will develop a recommended model MOU. Officers must receive  training in specific subjects. School administrator must also receive training. Law enforcement agencies must keep track of arrest information, including reason and demographics of the student. Establish a student and parent complaint process to express a concern or file a complaint about a school resource officer or security guard. full text


New Jersey Law S2081


Limits expulsions and suspensions for students in preschool through grade 2. Effective September 2016. The law prohibits the expulsion of students in grades K thru 2 in all instances except for those related to violations of the “Zero Tolerance for Guns Act, violent or sexual behavior that endangers others. The law prohibits suspensions for preschool students in all instances except those related to violations of the “Zero Tolerance for Guns Act”. School districts and charter schools must implement an early detection and prevention program to identify students in preschool through grade two experiencing behavioral problems. full text

​>>early childhood

The New York City Student Safety Act


Signed into law in 2011, requires quarterly reports on school safety and discipline be provided to the City Council by the New York Department of Education (NYED) and the New York Police Department (NYPD). It requires the NYPD to report arrests, the use of restraints on students, and more. full text

North Carolina Law HB736


Encourages schools to use alternatives to arrests and exclusionary discipline for all students. Effective August 2011. The law encourages schools not to punish minor violations with exclusionary measures. It also prohibits long-term suspensions for violations regarding tardiness and truancy. full text



Oregon Law SB553


Limits out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students in fifth grade or lower to three circumstances. Effective July 1, 2015. Exclusionary discipline is limited to non-accidental conduct that causes serious physical harm to a student or school employee. If a student receives an out-of-school suspension, the school district is required to take steps to prevent the same behavior and return the student to the classroom to minimize loss of academic instruction. full text

>>alternatives  >>early childhood


Rhode Island Law S2168


Limits out-of-school suspensions for students. Effective June 2016. The law prohibits the use of out-of-school suspension unless a student represents a demonstrable threat to the school community. The law also mandates that a school district examine annual data to ensure their discipline practices do not impose a disproportionate effect on students based on race, ethnicity, or disability status. full text

South Carolina Bill S131


Reduces the intervention of police officers in schools. The bill, effective May 17, 2018, prevents students from being charged with the broad "disturbing school" statute in their own schools. However, students not enrolled at the school can still be charged with the statute. full text

Texas Law HB674


Limits out-of-school suspensions for students in grades 2 and below. Effective September 2017. The law prohibits out-of-school suspensions for students through second grade, with exceptions for conduct regarding possession of weapons, certain violent behavior, and drugs and alcohol. full text

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Virginia Law HB 1600


Reduces the maximum length of suspensions. Effective June 3, 2018, the bill reduces the maximum length of a long-term suspension from 364 calendar days to 45 school days, unless for charges of weapons, drugs, or serious bodily injury. full text


Virginia Law SB 170

Limits removal from school for students through the third grade. Effective June 3, 2018, the bill prohibits suspensions and expulsions for pre-K through third grade students for more than three school days, and prohibits expulsions except for drug and firearm offenses. full text

>>early childhood

Colorado 1
Colorado 2
Maryland 1
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Maryland 2
Illinois 3
Colorado 3
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