BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The gap is narrowing between white students and students of color when it comes to discipline in Minnesota schools.

Black, Hispanic, American Indian and multiracial students still face disproportionately higher rates of suspensions and other disciplinary action. But they made up a smaller chunk of disciplined students in the 2013-2014 school year than years before.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the numbers are encouraging but there’s more work to be done. She supports a push by Gov. Mark Dayton to expand a behavioral education program into more schools.

Cassellius says it’s important to decrease suspensions because students can’t learn if they’re not in class.

Fights, threats and disruptive behavior were some of the most common reasons Minnesota students were disciplined in the 2013-2014 school year.

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