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.

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Memorandum on Significant Disproportionality in Special Education — June 21, 2019

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Last Updated: August 7, 2019

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

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


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