is one measure of educational inequity. It occurs when students of any racial subgroup are identified for special education, placed in more restrictive settings or disciplined at a markedly higher rate than their peers. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) considers disproportionality to be significant when overrepresentation of a group exceeds a threshold defined by each state. The Ohio Department of Education has set Ohio’s threshold at a ratio of 2.50 in order to more fully identify and address racial disparities in special education across the state.
According to federal IDEA regulations, districts with significant disproportionality must:
1. Review their policies, procedures and practices for identifying, placing and disciplining students with disabilities;
2. Identify the factors that may be contributing to significant disproportionality; and
3. Provide services to address the contributing factors, including professional development for adults and educational and behavioral interventions for students, using 15 percent of their federal special education funds.
Ohio's State Support Teams play a critical role in helping districts analyze data and plan for systems change efforts aimed at increasing equity in special education identification and discipline. Among other targeted supports, SST8 hosts an MTSS for Equity network
aimed at reducing rates of disproportionate eligibility of black students in the category of Specific Learning Disability and other equity needs identified by districts. To learn more, contact Jenine Sansosti