Back in 2016, the U.S. Department of Education made available to the public final regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the "IDEA," which would address the significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity. These regulations are called the Equity in Idea regulations. Their purpose is to establish a national standard to address racial disproportionality. They were initially set to take effect in 2018.
Then U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr. explained: "Children with disabilities are often disproportionately and unfairly suspended and expelled from school and educated in classrooms separate from their peers. Children of color with disabilities are overrepresented within the special education population, and the contrast in how frequently they are disciplined is even starker."
Since then, the Trump administration has worked to delay implementation of the regulations for an additional two years. Opposing this additional delay, a disability rights group sued the Department of Education, and last March, a U.S. District court judge sided with the disability rights group, ordering that the rule take effect immediately, finding that delay of the regulation was capricious and arbitrary. Last week the Department of Education gave up its appeal. This means that the Equity in IDEA regulations can now go into effect to address significant racial disproportionality, which will help children receive early intervening services, proper identification , and the supports they deserve.
Education Attorney Molly Watson
Service special needs children and their families in California
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