[Source: Education Week]
The U.S. Department of Education will appeal a judge’s ruling that could affect how school districts across the country spend millions of dollars in federal special education money.
The department has wanted to delay the implementation of a rule related to how states monitor their school districts’ identification of minority students for special education, in addition to their discipline or placement in restrictive settings. Districts found to have “significant disproportionality” of minority students in one or more of these areas, compared to white students, must set aside 15 percent of their federal special education funding to spend on remedies.
That monitoring is already required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. But the “Equity in IDEA” rule, which was finalized on December 2016, requires states to take a standardized approach in how they evaluate their districts for disproportionality. Only about 3 percent of the nation’s districts are identified as having issues of concern now; it is expected that the new rule would mean more school districts would join that number.