Report on local school districts found to have significant disproportionality :: 2012-2013

This report focuses on local school districts (referred to as local educational agencies or LEAs) that have been found to have significant disproportionality in one or more categories of students receiving special education.

Disproportionality is the overrepresentation of minority or ethnic students in special education in the following categories:

  • Identification, including identification with a particular disability category (SLI, SLD, OHI, ID, AU, ED);
  • Placement in particular educational settings, or
  • Disciplinary actions (incidence, duration, and type), including suspension and expulsions.

If found to have significant disproportionality in one or more of the above categories, the local district must reserve 15 percent of its IDEA Part B federal funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS).

Districts must use all of the CEIS funds and must devote most but not all of the CEIS funds to serve children in the over-identified category or categories. LEAs  required to use 15 percent of their IDEA Part B federal funds on CEIS due to significant disproportionality may not reduce their local expenditures by any amount.

This is a complete listing of the LEAs that were required to spend 15% of Part B funds in the 2012-2013 school year due to having significant disproportionality.

The report provides:

LEAs identified as having significant disproportionality during the referenced school year

– the category or categories of significant disproportionality;

– the amount of Part B funds reserved for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS).

A RECAP OF LEAs FOUND TO HAVE SIGNIFICANT DISPROPORTIONALITY:

A total of 489 LEAs in 28 states were required to use 15% of Part B funds for CEIS due to significant disproportionality.  The reserved funds to be spent totaled $239.6 million.

The 28 states and the number of LEAs within each state are as follows:

AL (3), AZ (1), AR (3), CA (50), CT (2), DE (4), FL (5), GA (16), IL (2), IN (58), IA (8), KY (8), LA (77), MD (3), MI (22), MN (8), MS (17), NJ (12), NM (2), NY (78), NC (12) OH (56), RI (28), SC (1), VA (6), WI (6), WY (2).

The following 23 states had no LEAs identified as having significant disproportionality: AK, CO, HI, ID, KS, ME, MA, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, ND, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV.

See table below for additional details.

The number of LEAs identified as having significant disproportionality and required to use 15 percent of IDEA Part B funds on CEIS in 2012-2013 was substantially higher than in the previous year. In 2011-2012, 247 LEAs were identified as having significant disproportionality. Those LEAs were required to spend $107.2 million in IDEA Part B funds on CEIS.

The uneven pattern of LEAs identified as having significant disproportionality reflects the varied definitions states have been allowed to develop to identify significant disproportionality. This inconsistent methodology is addressed in the proposed new federal regulation published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016 (Vol. 81, No. 41, pgs. 10968-10998). Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted on or before May 16, 2016.

An analysis accompanying the proposed rule, A Multi-Year Disproportionality Analysis by State, Analysis Category, and Race/Ethnicity, found that 8,148 LEAs would have a finding of significant disproportionality when the methodology (risk ration threshold, minimum cell size and occurrence over multiple years) used in the analysis was applied or 16 times the number identified in 2012-2013.

An example of the dramatic increase in LEAs identified with significant disproportionality using the methodology in the analysis is the state of Florida. Using its current methodology, Florida identified 2 LEAs for significant disproportionality in disciplinary removals while 26 LEAs would be identified using the methodology in the analysis – all for disciplinary removals of Black/African American students. Based on data collected by the Office for Civil Rights, Florida has the highest rate of out-of-school suspensions of students with disabilities in the country (see report here).

 Total LEAs and Number of LEAs identified with significant disproportionality

(This table is also included in the last page of the report.)

STATE Total LEAs # LEAs with disproportionality STATE Total LEAs # LEAs with disproportionality
AL 176 3 MT 422 0
AK 54 0 NC 250 12
AR 279 1 ND 184 0
AZ 685 1 NE 280 0
CA                1,052 50 NH 178 0
CO 245 0 NJ 691 12
CT 197 2 NM 150 2
DC 63 1 NV 19 0
DE 43 4 NY            1,008 78
FL 75 5 OH            1,100 56
GA 203 16 OK 550 0
HI 1 0 OR 208 0
IA 357 8 PA 738 0
ID 153 0 RI 57 28
IL 878 2 SC 109 1
IN 393 58 SD 156 0
KS 293 0 TN 142 0
KY 176 8 TX            1,256 0
LA 144 77 UT 132 0
MA 418 0 VA 151 6
MD 25 3 VT 339 0
ME 259 0 WA 305 0
MI 930 22 WI 456 6
MN 537 8 WV 57 0
MO 573 0 WY 61 2
MS 163 17 National 17,371 489

 

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