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  • Special Education

    Significant Disproportionality

    The purpose of this webpage is to assist school districts and other interested parties in understanding the requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) pertaining to significant disproportionality in special education identification, placement, and discipline with regarding to race or ethnicity (see 34 CFR §§ 300.646300.647), including:

    • how the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) calculates the risk ratios used in identifying significant disproportionality;
    • how districts are identified as having significant disproportionality;
    • fiscal responsibilities for identified districts;
    • supports for districts and the students affected by the disproportionality; and
    • general significant disproportionality resources.

    Last Updated: January 4, 2022

    Contact Us

    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

    Voice: (781) 338-3000
    TTY: (800) 439-2370


    Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.