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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) requires states to identify school districts whose data show significant racial disproportionality in special education for three consecutive years. The purpose is to ensure students of all races receive appropriate and equitable supports in the least restrictive environment. A wide body of research has demonstrated that over-identification and exclusionary placement or discipline may affect students’ long-term outcomes. The federal rules for significant disproportionality went into effect May 20, 2019.​

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