NEA supports the use of practices to reduce "disproportionality"
NEA encourages consistent application of standardized eligibility and identification criteria. Currently, the eligibility criteria used to identify students under certain categories can differ significantly from state to state, district to district, and IEP team to IEP team. Where a child lives should not determine whether or not he or she is identified as having a disability.
Some populations are disproportionally represented in certain special education categories and may be inappropriately placed in special education programs. NEA believes there are many, many others who are not getting the services they need and deserve.
Disproportionality is as much affected by where children live as by the incoherent eligibility criteria used for certain disabling categories, particularly Learning Disabled and Emotionally Disturbed.
It is inherently discriminatory that a student who moves from one district to another is considered disabled and eligible for special education services in the first and not in the second. IDEA should clearly define a standard for identification and eligibility with distinct criteria that is consistently applied no matter where a child lives.