Wisconsin annually collects local education agency data, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, for students aged 3 through 21 in special education and in all disability categories. Every year, WDPI applies criteria to the data and identifies local education agencies (LEAs or public agencies) with racial disproportionality in discipline (Indicator 4B), special education (Indicator 9), and specific disability categories (Indicator 10). In addition, WDPI applies criteria to the data and identifies public agencies with significant racial disproportionality in discipline, special education, specific disability categories, and placement.
Once identified as having racial disproportionality in one of the above areas, the public agency and WDPI staff review related policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they are race neutral and in compliance with state special education law and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA). WDPI is further required to review noncompliance and determine whether the noncompliance contributes to the identified racial disproportionality.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and state law have identified the legal requirements that are related to each area of disproportionality.
WDPI monitors implementation of required special education requirements related to racial disproportionality via a public agency self-assessment using samples of students’ evaluation records, individualized education program records and other sources. The self-assessment content includes selected requirements of IDEA 2004 and state law, which are closely related to disproportionality. Independent charter schools (2r charter schools) are required to meet IDEA requirements and eligibility criteria established under PI 36, Wis. Admin. Code.
When a LEA is identified with racial disproportionality under Indicators 9 or 10, and/or the related areas of significant disproportionality, then the LEA must also report re-evaluation data on all students, disaggregated by race.
The WDPI may modify the content of a public agency’s self-assessment to include other potential compliance issues identified by the WDPI special education team. Sources of information include: state IDEA complaints; previous compliance monitoring; due process hearings; fiscal monitoring; agency policies submitted for WDPI review; data review; and state-wide issues identified by WDPI or the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education.
LEAs are required to publicly report the revision of any policies, procedures, and practices when identified with significant disproportionality in the areas of discipline, special education, specific disability categories, or environment.