Victory for the Disability Advocacy Community

By: Wendy Tucker, Senior Director of Policy and Megan Ohlssen, Managing Director of Programs

In a huge victory for the disability advocacy community, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) prevailed earlier this month in a closely watched lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education. COPAA filed suit in July over Secretary DeVos’ decision to delay implementation of the Equity in IDEA regulations, which had been scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2018. Adopted in 2016 to address racial disparities in special education, the Equity in IDEA regulations will now immediately go into effect absent action by a higher court.

These regulations are a critical step in ensuring students are receiving the appropriate services and disrupting disproportionality, which is perpetuated in various forms:

  • The inappropriate identification of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education;

  • The underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in enrichment, gift and talented programs, and access to rigorous curricular materials; and

  • The excessive overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse students involved in disciplinary actions 

It’s imperative that we see greater accountability for states with significant racial disproportionality; oversight of these regulations is paramount. We look forward to working with our partners to build out of systems to support greater equity for all students.  

You can learn more detail about the regulations here and read COPAA’s press release and the District Court’s decision here.

California Reports Strong Results Based on Inclusion of Students With Disabilities

California Reports Strong Results Based on Inclusion of Students With Disabilities

The California Charter Schools Association recently released a report detailing special education practices in 10 California charter schools. The schools examined are diverse in size, instructional model and student demographics, but all represent strong outcomes for students with disabilities. The report, Meeting the Needs of Every Student Through Inclusion, offers an in-depth look at the philosophies, practices, and policies that allow these schools to successfully educate students with disabilities. Inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes along with non-disabled peers is highlighted as a best practice to achieve positive results. 

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