(2018, July) | Useful to all Parent Centers, states, schools, families, and education and civil rights stakeholders.
On July 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education issued a final rule that will delay by two years the date for States to comply with the “Equity in IDEA” or “significant disproportionality” regulations. Set to go into effect on July 1, 2018, implementation of those rules are now delayed until July 1, 2020. In the same final rule, the Department also postponed the date for including children ages 3 through 5 in the analysis of significant disproportionality, with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities and as children with a particular impairment. The initial implementation deadline was July 1, 2020; the deadline is now two years later: July 1, 2022.
Access the final rule, which includes background information and an analysis of comments and changes, at:
Access the final rule in PDF (including the analysis of comments and changes):
2016 Final Regulations | On December 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education issued final significant disproportionality regulations for IDEA. Those regulations brought numerous changes to how states, school districts, and schools would be required to monitor, analyze, and report their special education practices and policies addressing disproportionality in special education. Of particular concern was the seemingly disproportionate rates at which students from specific racial/ethnic groups were identified as having a disability, which disability, and whether these student groups were at higher risk of being placed in more segregated or exclusionary environments. Also of great concern was their seemingly higher risk of being disciplined more harshly than students from other racial/ethnic groups. Those 2016 final regulations were set to go into effect on July 1, 2018.
February 2018 Proposed Rule to Delay Implementation | On February 27, 2018, the Secretary of Education published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (83 FR 8396) proposing to postpone by two years the date for States to comply with the “Equity in IDEA” or “significant disproportionality” regulations. The NPRM also proposed to postpone the date for including children ages three through five in the analysis of significant disproportionality, with respect to the identification of children as children with disabilities and as children with a particular impairment, from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.
The NPRM was followed by a 90-day open public comment period, where stakeholders could respond to the new proposed rule with comments, suggestions, criticisms, support, or perspectives. Comments were received from 390 parties. The public comment period ended on May 14, 2018.
July 2018 Rule to Delay Implementation by Two Years | As stated in the first paragraph above, the Department has issued this new rule, enacting the proposed delay with no changes.