Obama-Era Regulation Preventing Children of Color from Being Unfairly Disciplined Survives Trump Admin and Courts
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tried to delay an Obama-era regulation aimed at preventing children of color from being unfairly disciplined and sent to special education classrooms at higher rates than other students for two years. But a federal court ruled last week that the policy must take effect immediately. Under the regulation, states will face tighter rules about how they count children in special education. Those calculations may tip more states over a threshold that requires them to create a plan to ensure that students of color are not being disproportionately targeted. “By forcing the Trump administration to implement the rule, the court’s ruling will put us back on a track toward reversing systemic racial discrimination in education,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chair of the House Education Committee. “The court’s ruling confirms our suspicion that the Education Department’s delay of the . . . rule had no basis in evidence or facts.” The Obama administration became concerned that states had too much leeway determining whether African American special-education students are more likely to be removed from mainstream classrooms or whether Hispanic special-education students face harsher discipline. Hence, in the closing days of the Obama administration, the department issued what is known as the “significant disproportionality rule,” which more clearly defines how states should identify problematic school systems. Despite DeVos’ efforts, the regulation stands. More here.