Trump Directive Spurs Proposal To Delay IDEA Rule
The Trump administration is officially proceeding with plans to delay an Obama-era rule that aimed to ensure students from certain backgrounds aren’t wrongly placed in special education.
The U.S. Department of Education is issuing a notice in the Federal Register on Tuesday proposing a two-year delay of the so-called “significant disproportionality” rule, which was finalized in the closing weeks of the Obama administration.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires states to flag school districts with high rates of students from particular racial or ethnic groups identified as having disabilities, placed in restrictive settings or subjected to discipline.
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However, states have traditionally used different measures and the Obama administration claimed that as a result few schools were ever identified.
The rule, which is slated to take effect July 1, sought to establish a national standard.
But by last fall, news surfaced that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team were eyeing the regulation for further review under an executive order from President Donald Trump requiring all federal agencies to identify regulations for “repeal, replacement or modification.” As of December, the Education Department began moving to delay the rule’s implementation.
“The department is concerned, however, given the public comments it has received in response to its general solicitation in 2017 on regulatory reform, that the Equity in IDEA regulations may not appropriately address the problem of significant disproportionality,” reads this week’s Federal Register notice.
Specifically, the agency cited comments suggesting that they may not have the statutory authority to create a national standard.
The idea of delaying the rule has come under fire from Democratic lawmakers as well as disability and civil rights advocates but school administrators support the plan saying that the rule would bring high costs and burden administrators.
The proposed delay will be up for public comment for 75 days.
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