(USA TODAY) -- More than a decade into the 21st century, minority students still face educational opportunities starkly different from those of white students, including harsher discipline and lower-paid, less-qualified teachers, according to new federal data from every public school in the USA.
GRAPHIC: Even 4-year-olds get suspended
In some cases, disabled students also face harsher consequences, especially when they're dealt with in crisis situations.
The new data are being released Friday in Washington, D.C., by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Education Department says that for the first time since 2000, the Civil Rights Data Collection survey includes findings from every public school in the USA, comprising about 49 million students.
Among the findings:
• Among high schools serving the highest percentage of African-American and Latino students, one in three don't offer a single chemistry course, and one in four don't offer a math course more advanced than Algebra I.
• In schools that offer "gifted and talented" programs, African-American and Latino students represent 40% of students but only 26% of those in such programs.
• African-American, Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native students attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers than white students.
• Students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be suspended than those without disabilities.
• African-American students are suspended and expelled at a rate more than three times as high as white students (16% vs. 5%),
Even in preschool, the data suggest, African-American children are victims of outsize discipline: They represent just 18% of students in public preschools, but account for 48% of those receiving more than one suspension.
"The report shines a new light on something that research and experience have long told us - that students of color get less than their fair share of access to the in-school factors that matter for achievement," said Daria Hall of The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group for low-income and minority students. "Students of color get less access to high-level courses. Black students in particular get less instructional time because they're far more likely to receive suspensions or expulsions. And students of color get less access to teachers who've had at least a year on the job and who have at least basic certification. Of course, it's not enough to just shine a light on the problem. We have to fix it."
The new findings also include data on so-called "restraint and seclusion," a controversial issue that has been the subject of several congressional hearings. Advocates for disabled students have long pushed lawmakers to toughen laws around when and how educators can physically restrain students. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, last month released a report based in part on earlier Education Department findings, which found that these practices were used in USA schools at least 66,000 times during the 2009-10 school year.
The data are available Friday at www.ed.gov/ocr.