Brandi Buchman at Courthouse News:
A long delayed Obama-era rule intended to force states to address racial disparities in special education will now be postponed until 2020, the Education Department announced Monday.
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama instructed the department to review states which had disproportionate ratios of minority students flagged for special education services.
In a 41-page report, the department confirmed that minority students were more likely to be identified as having a disability, and more likely to face harsher discipline, than were their white classmates.
The report also revealed a prevalence of segregation in restrictive classroom settings and situations in which special needs students are removed from a standard classroom setting and placed into a more regimented or highly monitored one.
The rule directing states to intervene and address these disparities was set to go into effect in July 2018.
On Monday, the Education Department announced it would postpone enforcement of the rule for another two years because several officials had been told of “concerns” about the policy.
“Because of the concern raised, the department is looking closely at this rule and has determined that, while this review takes place, it is prudent to delay implementation for two years,” said Liz Hill, a department spokeswoman.