Significant Disproportionality

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.

1. Identification - Ages 3 to 21: The identification of students with disabilites, including identification of students with particular impairments. 2 Placement - School Age: The placement of students in particular educational settings. 3 Disciplinary Removals - Ages 3 to 21: The incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions.

Significant Disproportionality Requirements (PDF)

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.

Leaders and Educators Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education (LEADS)

Is your LEA looking for support in eliminating identification, placement, or discipline disparities in special education? The Texas Special Education Leaders and Educators Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education (LEADS) can help LEAs strengthen educational systems to address disproportionality.

The mission of the Leaders and Educators Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education (LEADS) 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 Leaders and Educators Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education (LEADS) 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 in the 2020-2021 Addressing Significant Disproportionality section of the Available Grant Opportunities.