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NEW YORK (AP) The number of New York City students suspended from school has dropped by 23 percent.

The city Department of Education says there were 53,465 suspensions in the 2012-2013 school year compared to 69,643 suspensions in the previous school year.

The department is required to report suspension data to the City Council twice a year.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says the drop in suspensions is due in part to the hard work done in schools to address incidents before they escalate.

Walcott says the department has also introduced a pilot program as part of the Young Men's Initiative to promote the successful re-entry of students back into schools.