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Significant Disproportionality

IDEA Section 618(d) requires States to annually examine whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity exists in their LEAs (in Colorado, Administrative Units).  Having significant disproportionality means that students of a particular race/ethnicity are significantly more likely than their other-race peers to be identified as children with disabilities, identified with a particular disability category (e.g., Autism, Intellectual Disability), placed in a particular educational setting (e.g., separate classroom), or suspended/expelled as a disciplinary measure.

The significant disproportionality regulation and surrounding guidance:


Implementation of the significant disproportionality regulation in Colorado:


What happens after an AU is identified as significantly disproportionate?

When an AU is identified as significantly disproportionate, it must 1) identify the factors contributing to the significant disproportionality, 2) review, and if appropriate, revise policies, procedures, and practices contributing to the significant disproportionality, and 3) Set aside 15% of its IDEA Part B allocation for comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (CCEIS). The resources listed below address the required activities in more detail:



The following short webinar series explores various topics within the significant disproportionality requirements.

  • Webinar 1: What is significant disproportionality? (8:56)
  • Webinar 2: How is significant disproportionality defined, calculated, and examined in Colorado?
  • Webinar 3: To AU Directors: “How do I know if my AU has or is close to significant disproportionality?” (17:49)
  • Webinar 4:  Requirements for AUs determined as significantly disproportionate (16:52)

Equity Requirements in IDEA: A comparison of Indicators 4, 9, 10, and Significant Disproportionality

For more information, please contact:

Orla Bolger
Supervisor, Data and Monitoring Liaison
Email Orla Bolger
Phone: (720) 921-0524

Nicholas Smosna
Special Ed. Monitoring and Technical Assistance Consultant 
Email Nicholas Smosna
Phone: (303) 548-5597

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