Resources

Racial Disproportionality and Legal Compliance in Special Education

There are three important laws that shape the delivery of special education in the United States. Collectively, the three laws dictate a nondiscrimination framework for students with disabilities in attempts to provide equitable outcomes for all students, both non-classified and classified. Despite the presence of these laws, inequities persist.

Racial disproportionality in special education is pervasive in the American educational system and has persisted for decades (Skiba et al., 2008). It is characterized by a racialized disparate impact in access to educational opportunity, high-quality interventions, and educational services in special education. Learn more