DeLauro, Murray Statement on Federal Data on How Often Students Are Secluded or Restrained
New GAO report recommends Education Department implement measures to increase accuracy
Only 1 of the 10 largest school districts reporting zero incidents of restraint and seclusion could affirm that no such incidents occurred
WASHINGTON, DC (June 18, 2019)— Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, today released the following statements regarding a new report from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) on federal data on restraint and seclusion collected by the Department of Education (ED) as part of its Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The GAO report made four recommendations to ED while completing the 2017-2018 data collection. This report was issued as a result of the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding law.
“Today’s GAO report reveals deeply concerning gaps and inaccuracies in the Department of Education’s data on the use of restraint and seclusion,” said DeLauro. “These practices—which are meant to be used as a last resort—disproportionately impact students with disabilities, yet many of our nation’s largest school districts continue to report no incidents where these measures were used. Protecting all students in our nation’s public schools must remain our priority, and part of that goal is identifying how widespread these practices are. I urge the Department to complete necessary, recommended quality control over its 2017-18 CRDC data before it is published in 2020.”
“It is extremely alarming that we know students are being secluded and physically restrained—and we know the practices are more likely used on students with disabilities, students of color, and boys—and yet many large school districts didn’t report a single incident,” said Murray. “There is a clear need for complete, accurate data on seclusion and restraint, and I urge the Department of Education to use resources we provided to implement all of the recommendations in this report immediately and before the data collection period ends.”