Map: Minorities in Special Education: Which Districts Are Out of Line?
In its waning days, the Obama administration issued a rule requiring states to take a closer look at whether minority students are overrepresented in special education and whether they are more likely than other special education students to be placed in restrictive settings or disciplined.
The new rule makes it more likely that districts would be flagged for these problems—known as “disproportionality”—and required to spend 15 percent of their federal special education dollars to address them.
But the rule could now be on the chopping block under the Trump administration’s push to roll back federal regulations. The U.S. Department of Education is considering a two-year pause while it decides what to do next.
Just how widespread is the problem of overrepresentation when it comes to minorities in special education? States have been required to monitor these areas since 1997, but only 2 to 3 percent of school districts each year have ever been identified.