Significant Disproportionality

IDEA Equity Requirements


Students running


Significant Disproportionality Requirements

Under 20 U.S.C 1418 (d) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §300.646, states must provide for the
collection and examination of data to annually determine whether significant disproportionality based on race or ethnicity is occurring in the State and local education agencies (LEAs) with respect to three areas.

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State Definition of Significant Disproportionality

The State has the discretion to define what constitutes significant disproportionality for the LEAs and the State in general. However, the State's definition of significant disproportionality must be based on an analysis of numerical information and may not include consideration of the State's or LEA's policies, procedures, or practices.

The Texas Significant Disproportionality Regulation Crosswalk lists elements within the federal regulations and corresponding actions that define significant disproportionality in Texas.  Texas applies the methods found in 34 §CFR 300.647 and exercised the flexibilities found in subsections (b) and (d) of the regulation. 




Requirements for LEAs Identified with Significant Disproportionality

When the State identifies LEAs with significant disproportionality, the LEA must meet the requirements found at 34 CFR §300.646 (c) and (d).  If the LEA is found to be SD in one or more of the SD categories as published in the Results Driven Accountability (RDA) report for three years in a row, LEAs are required to:

  • review (and, if appropriate) revise policies, procedures, and practices,
  • reserve the maximum amount of funds to be used for early intervening services, and
  • report on the revision of policies, procedures, and practices.


Texas Special Education Equity Initiative: Addressing Significant Disproportionality

Is your district looking for support in eliminating identification, placement, or discipline disparities in special education? The Texas Special Education Equity Initiative: Addressing Significant Disproportionality can help districts strengthen educational systems to address disproportionality.

The mission of the Texas Special Education Equity Initiative: Addressing Significant Disproportionality is to improve educational outcomes for all Texas students by combining cutting-edge research with high quality training and coaching around disproportionality.

Participating LEAs work with consultants to develop customized action plans to specifically address areas related to effective and equitable services to students in all groups. LEAs are provided ongoing, innovative technical assistance, including the opportunity to participate in a Community of Practice and access to a panel of national experts in disproportionality. 

The Texas Special Education Equity Initiative: Addressing Significant Disproportionality is made possible by a grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Program Guidelines can be found on the TEA Grant Opportunities  webpage and selecting 2020-2021 Addressing Significant Disproportionality in the Available Grant Opportunities section. 

significant disproportionality initiative timeline


For information about the Texas Special Education Equity Initiative, please email


Special Education Program Reporting
Contact Information

Special Education Program Reporting
Phone: (512) 463-9414
Monday-Friday (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
Fax:(512) 463-9560

Department of Review and Support
Phone: (512) 463-9414
Monday-Friday (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
Fax:(512) 463-9560

Special Education or IEP-Related Questions?

Consult SPEDTex, the Texas Special Education Information Center. This is a resource backed by TEA to inform and support parents, teachers, and anyone committed to the success of children with disabilities.

Phone: 1-855-SPEDTEX  (1-855-773-3839)