RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new report says black and disabled students in Virginia were disproportionately suspended during the 2015-2016 school year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Legal Aid Justice Center released its report on exclusionary discipline in Virginia's public schools on Tuesday. The report found that black students were suspended around four times as much as Hispanic and white students, and students with disabilities were suspended around three times as often as nondisabled students.

The report says around 70,000 students were issued more than 131,500 out-of-school suspensions during the school year, a 1.8 percent increase after four years of declining suspension rates. A total of 282 students were expelled across the state.

The report recommends focusing on alternatives to exclusionary discipline and targeting funds to support economically disadvantaged students.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com