"This started out as a civil rights issue," said committee Chairwoman Ann Cummings, D-Washington.
"Are we discriminating against a certain group?"
said such a proposition could be expensive and suggested the committee take testimony from principals and superintendents on the potential costs of such a mandate.
suggested the goal of the bill should be to gather more data to give lawmakers and others a more complete picture of discipline practices in the state and to see if minority and disabled students in Vermont are suspended and expelled more frequently than others.
"Can we study this problem before we solve it?
Sen. Dustin Degree, R-Franklin, said he
would need more information on rates of suspension and expulsion before supporting policy changes.
"I can't address the assertion without the data," Degree said.
suggested the committee instruct the Agency of Education
to require school districts to report data on suspensions and expulsions that is "readily available," while recognizing that for some districts, there will be no data.