March 02, 2016

Proposed Rule to Address Disparities in Treatment of Children of Color with Disabilities

As explained in this press release, the Department of Education issued a proposed rule on February 23, referred to as the "Equity in IDEA" rule, to address problem of widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities. Under current law, IDEA requires states to identify districts with "significant disproportionality" in special education-that is, when districts identify, place outside the regular classroom, or discipline children from any racial or ethnic group at markedly higher rates than their peers. The proposed rule would require states to implement a standard approach to compare racial and ethnic groups, with reasonable thresholds for determining when disparities have become significant, and would make changes in the way that districts can use their IDEA funds to address such disparities. See this article from Disability Scoop.  The National Council on Disabilities has applauded the proposed rule.