The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently announced a proposed rule to delay by two years regulations on significant disproportionality in the education of students with disabilities, based on race and ethnicity. Today, on May 10, 2018, the ACLU of South Dakota submitted comments opposing the Trump administration’s harmful and misguided delay.
These “Equity in IDEA” regulations, finalized in December 2016, set set a common standard for states to use in determining whether students of color are disproportionately identified as having disabilities, placed in restrictive settings, and disciplined. The 2016 regulations fulfilled a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and set the compliance date as July 1, 2018. By delaying the compliance date of these regulations, the DOE would maintain an unfortunate status quo whereby states and school districts lack any meaningful accountability for addressing significant disproportionality.
The ACLU of South Dakota urges swift implementation of the Equity in IDEA regulation and opposes the proposed delay. There is no legal, factual, or moral basis to turn away from our commitment to ensure educational opportunities and academic success for children of color and children with disabilities and to create a positive school climate for all children.