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Final Rule on Significant Disproportionality: Compliance Date Postponed until July 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education has postponed the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations by two years, from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020.

In February 2016, the U.S. Department of Education took a critical step toward addressing widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, proposing a new rule to improve equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). “The nation’s special education law, “IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.

In order to address those inequities, 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”

Below is information released on June 29, 2018 by the U.S Department of Education:

The U.S. Department of Education has postponed the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations by two years, from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020.

Our nation’s special education law, “IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.

In order to address those inequities, 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”

Below is information released by the U.S Department of Education on June 29, 2018:

“Dear Colleague:

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) placed on public inspection in the Federal Register a final rule concerning the Department’s significant disproportionality regulations published December 19, 2016.

With this publication, the Department has postponed the compliance date for implementing the significant disproportionality regulations by two years, from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020. The Department has also postponed the date children ages 3 through 5 must be included in the analysis of significant disproportionality, from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.

As we stated when we published the notice of proposed rulemaking for the postponement on February 27, 2018, we have postponed the compliance date in order to thoroughly review the significant disproportionality regulations and ensure that they effectively address the issue of significant disproportionality and best serve children with disabilities. This review is part of the Department’s regulatory reform activities pursuant to Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” It is important to note that States must continue to meet their statutory obligation to make annual determinations as to whether significant disproportionality exists in their LEAs.”

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