Beaverton, Portland, Tigard schools sanctioned for disciplining minority white special ed students at higher rate

Jul 8, 2011 by



Beaverton School District has a $543,000 hole to fill in its special education fund next school year because staff disciplined a higher ratio of Latino students in special education than in the general school population.

The district is one of three in the Portland area to get dinged for suspending and expelling a disproportionate ratio of minorities in special education, based on a federal law the state began enforcing in 2008.

The law, part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, was created to help deal with a decades-old national problem — minorities are over-represented in special education.

Under the law, states must monitor districts for mislabeling minority students as needing special education. In addition, they must determine if schools are disproportionately disciplining minorities and over-identifying them with particular impairments, among other problems.

But the law doesn’t require districts to train teachers in equity issues, file a plan with the state to fix the problem or have the district’s policies and practices assessed by anyone other than the sanctioned district.

Over the last four years, the Oregon Department of Education has sanctioned Portland, Beaverton, Tigard-Tualatin, Eugene and Woodburn school districts.

Portland, Beaverton and Tigard-Tualatin had suspended and expelled a higher percentage of students of color in special education compared to the general population.

For Portland, it was black students. In Beaverton and Tigard-Tualatin, it was Latino students. Eugene and Woodburn had disproportionate ratios of minorities in specific disability categories. Eugene’s minority group was Native Americans and Woodburn’s was white students, which are a minority at that district.

via Beaverton, Portland, Tigard schools sanctioned for disciplining minority special ed students at higher rate |

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