U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is pushing legislation aimed at confronting what she described as punitive disciplinary actions taken disproportionately against girls of color in school.
The Massachusetts Democrat said from kindergarten through their senior year in high school, black girls are seven times more likely to be suspended as white girls, and four times more likely to be arrested at school.
Pressley said Latino and Native American girls are also suspended from school at higher rates than white girls.
Pressley's bill would establish $2.5 billion in new federal grants to help states and districts that commit to ban unfair and discriminatory school discipline practices and improve school climates.
The bill would also strengthen the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights by setting aside $2.5 billion for additional enforcement and monitoring while also creating a federal task force.