WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - Black students are almost four times more likely to be suspended from public school than white students, part of persistent disparities in U.S. schools, according to U.S. Education Department data released on Tuesday.
The department's Civil Rights Data Collection for the 2013-14 school year showed that the higher rate of suspensions come as black students are more likely than whites to be absent and to have inexperienced teachers, and are less likely to have access to science and math courses.
Education Secretary John King said the disparities shown in the survey of 96,000 schools and 50 million students underscored the continuing need to improve equity in U.S schooling.
The data "illustrate in powerful and troubling ways disparities in opportunities and experiences that different groups of students have in our schools," he said in a statement.
The number of students from kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) who were suspended one or more times fell to 2.8 million, down almost 20 percent from the previous survey in the 2011-12 school year.
About 1.1 million black K-12 students were suspended, a rate 3.8 times that of white students. Black preschoolers were 3.6 times more likely to be suspended than whites, the data showed.
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Black students 4 times more likely to be suspended from schools
FERGUSON, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: A makeshift memorial for Michael Brown Jr. is seen on September 11, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. 2016 Presidential Candidate Ben Carson is expected visit to the Ferguson area. Dr. Carson recently became under scrutiny after publishing an article criticizing the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in their quest against injustice and police brutality. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: People hold banners reading 'Black Lives Matter' during a rally to mark the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown at Union Square in New York, NY on August 09, 2015. Brown was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and his death set off nationwide protest against police brutality. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JULY 27 - Demonstrators chant 'black lives matter' during a Black Lives Matter protest that marched from Gilbert Avenue to Allen Road on Eglinton Avenue. The protest shut down the southbound Allen Road for around 30 minutes, causing traffic to reverse and exit through Lawrence Avenue. (Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
A protest sign showing and image of Ezell Ford as members of the 'Black Lives Matter' alliance stage protest outside the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's home as they try to force him to fire LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, in Los Angeles, California on June 7, 2015. The alliance have renewed protests after a recent report from an LAPD watchdog determined that the August 11, 2014 officer-involved shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South Central was justified. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 03: A detail view of a man's shirt that reads 'Black Lives Matter' in front of City Hall two days after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray on May 3, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called for a statewide 'Day of Prayer and Peace' on Sunday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 25: T-shirts stating 'Black Lives Matter' are on sale for $10 each outside City Hall before a protest in honor of Freddie Gray April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
A man wears a 'Black Lives Matter' t-shirt as he demonstrates along with the group Justice League NYC and others participate in a March2Justice rally for criminal justice reform legislation to end racial profiling and demilitarize police forces outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 21, 2015. Some members of the group spent a week traveling from New York City to Washington, ending with a protest rally on the National Mall. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - APRIL 16: Black lives matter protest on the steps at Portland City Hall Thursday, April 16, 2015. (Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - APRIL 10: A tee shirt reading 'Stop Killing Us', and 'Black Lives Matter' are seen on a fence near the spot where Walter Scott was killed on April 4th by a North Charleston police officer on April 10, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Scott was killed by North Charleston police officer Michael T. Slager after a traffic stop and the officer now faces murder charges. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 14: Protestors march in silence during a Black Lives Matter protest in Saint Louis, USA on March 14, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
'Black Lives Matter' is drawn on the ground in chalk as protesters demonstrate against racism in the 'Reclaim MLK' march January 19, 2015 in outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri. Critics of police treatment of minority residents in the US took part in various demonstrations across the country coinciding with the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an American federal holiday marking the influential American civil rights leader's birthday. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/01/19: Black lives matter is the message that the protesters want to bring out. Hundreds of protesters in Harlem during Martin Luther King Jr. Day demonstration gathered at Malcolm X Blvd. and Central Park North for a 'Dream4Justice' march to the United Nations, filled Foley Square in lower Manhattan and staged a die-in at Grand Central Terminal. (Photo by Geovien So/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/01/19: A protester wears a 'Black Lives Matter' jumper in Grand Central Station. Hundreds of protesters in Harlem during Martin Luther King Jr. Day demonstration gathered at Malcolm X Blvd. and Central Park North for a 'Dream4Justice' march to the United Nations, filled Foley Square in lower Manhattan and staged a die-in at Grand Central Terminal. (Photo by Geovien So/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, MN - DECEMBER 20: Thousands of protesters from the group 'Black Lives Matter' disrupt holiday shoppers on December 20, 2014 at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
BOSTON - DECEMBER 16: Boston High School Student Jamile Paulino was part of a Black Lives Matter protest in response to recent jury decisions. She was at gathering near Dudley Square. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - DECEMBER 13: Thousands of protestors marched through the streets of Boston as part of the Black Lives Matter protest to bring attention to black justice and the recent police killings of blacks. Protestor Brian Miller throws his arms up in front of a line of State Troopers on Nashua Street. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 3: Ashley Thompson chanted 'Black lives matter' while joining demonstrators who gathered in Philadelphia to protest the Eric Garner grand jury decision during a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at City Hall December 3, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Organizers called for the demonstration after a grand jury in the Staten Island borough of New York City declined to indict the police officer who used a chokehold on Garner, resulting in his death. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Penn State student Zaniya Joe wears a piece of tape over her mouth that says 'Black Lives Matter' during a Ferguson protest organized by a group of Penn State University students on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in University Park, Pa. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/TNS via Getty Images)
A group of Penn State University students organized a protest in reaction to the events in Ferguson on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in University Park, Pa. The students dressed in black and laid on the floor of the HUB building for 45 minutes, many wearing signs that said 'Black Lives Matter.' (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/TNS via Getty Images)
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Black K-12 students also were 1.9 times more likely to be expelled from school than white students.
K-12 students with disabilities were more than as twice likely to be suspended as students without disabilities. Students with disabilities were two-thirds of students kept apart from classmates or restrained, even though they made up 12 percent of students overall, the study showed.
Among academic subjects, a third of high schools with high black or Latino enrollment offered calculus, compared with 56 percent for those with low numbers of black and Latinos.
Just under half of high schools with high numbers of black and Latino students offered physics, compared with 67 percent for those with low Latino and black enrollment.
The survey defined high black and Latino enrollment as schools with more than 75 percent Latino and black students.
Eleven percent of African-American students are in schools where more than one-fifth of teachers are in their first year of teaching, versus 5 percent of white students.
Eighteen percent of high-school students overall are chronically absent, or out of school 15 days during the year, while 22 percent of black students are chronically absent.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by David Gregorio)