In a final rule published July 3 in the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Education halted the so-called “significant disproportionality” rule, which was supposed to take effect this month, for two years.

“This delay will give the department, the states and the public additional time to evaluate the questions involved and determine how best to serve children with disabilities without increasing the risk that children with disabilities are denied (a free appropriate public education),” the agency’s notice indicates.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, states must identify school districts with high rates of students from particular racial or ethnic groups who have disabilities, are placed in restrictive settings or are subjected to discipline. However, states have used different measures to assess districts and few were ever flagged.

The significant disproportionality rule, which was originally finalized in the last weeks of the Obama administration, looked to establish a uniform national standard.

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by Michelle Diament | July 10, 2018