Education – Education Department Seeks Comments to Address Disproportionality in Special Education

The U.S. Department of Education posted a notice of proposed rulemaking on disproportionality in special education on March 2. The agency is seeking ways for states to help ensure that minority students aren’t overrepresented in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. This effort comes in response to documented disparities across the country, with minority students in many districts far more likely to be identified as having disabilities and more frequently facing suspensions and other discipline. The proposed rule would require states to use a standardized approach to assess representation in special education across racial and ethnic groups. In cases where school districts have a “significant disproportionality,” the rule would allow more flexibility in how they use funding allocated under IDEA. The proposed rule is available for public comment until May 16.

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