Disproportionality is one measure of educational equity. Disproportionality generally occurs when students of one racial or ethnic group are more likely to receive special education identification, placement in a more restrictive setting, or more out of class discipline compared to all other students, thus denying them access to instruction and the support they need to succeed academically.The federal government considers disproportionality “significant” when overrepresentation of a group exceeds a threshold defined by each state.
In 2016 the federal Office of Special Education Programs amended the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations relating to significant disproportionality. The IDEA requires ODE to promote equity by identifying and preventing significant disproportionality. Looking at disproportionality data helps ensure that the right services are getting to the right students in the right way.