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Before releasing model forms and guides for public use, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Special Education Services department is required to provide the general public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed forms or guides.  Federal regulations, at 34 C.F.R. 300.165, specify that prior to the adoption of any policies and procedures needed to comply with the IDEA, the State must ensure that there are opportunities for comment available to the general public, including individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities.  In its Analysis of Comments and Changes to the federal regulations, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) stated that the public participation requirements, specified in 34 C.F.R. 300.165, apply when a state education agency develops model forms (Federal Register, August 14, 2006, p. 46699-46700).

KSDE uses public comment as a valuable resource in an effort to develop the very best model forms and guides for Kansas schools.  These proposed documents will be posted on the KSDE web site fore public comment for at least 30 days.  The public may comment on the proposed documents during the comment period by:  (a) submitting a letter addressed to:  Kansas State Department of Education, Special Education Services Team - Public Comment, 900 SW Jackson St., Topeka, KS 66612; (b)sending an email addressed to SESPublicComments@ksde.org;  (c) attending a public hearing held during the comment period.

Significant Disproportionality Methodology Request for Comments - Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kansas State Department of Education
Request for Comments

The Kansas State Department of Education is offering the public the opportunity to comment on the state’s methodology and standards for the determination of significant disproportionality in local education agencies.

On December 19, 2016, the US Department of Education published revised regulations related to State’s requirements under IDEA to determine if significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the state and LEAs of the state with respect to the identification, placement and discipline of children with disabilities. These changes were effective 30 days after publication and are required to be implemented by July 1, 2018. In general, these changes provide for a standard risk ratio methodology that each State must use in its annual determination under IDEA section 618(d) of whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the State and the LEAs of the State. 81 FR 243, pg. 92377. This risk ratio methodology for determining significant disproportionality includes state-established standards for minimum N sizes, minimum cell sizes, risk ratio thresholds, and, if applicable, reasonable progress to be used in the methodology. 34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(i). The regulations further require, and the KSDE is very interested in, stakeholder advice on these state-established standards, including advice from the state advisory panel. 34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(iii).
Proposed Standard Methodology for Significant Disproportionality
The KSDE performs risk ratio and alternate risk ratio calculation procedures as required by 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.646 and 300.647, to identify a district as having significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity if, in one or more of the required analysis categories, the final risk ratio (risk ratio or alternate risk ratio as applicable) of the district exceeds the state’s risk ratio threshold for 3 prior consecutive years. A district that exceeds the risk threshold for 3 prior years, but that has shown reasonable progress for lowering the risk ratio in each of the most recent 2 consecutive prior years, will be evaluated by KSDE and may not be identified with significant disproportionality.

Proposed State-Established Methodology Standards for Significant Disproportionality
KSDE proposes following state-established standards to be used in applying the standard methodology for determining Significant Disproportionality:
Reasonable Risk Ratio Thresholds. The following chart outlines the proposed risk ratio thresholds for each of the federally required categories:

Risk Ratio Threshold
All Disabilities
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disability
Other Health Impairment
Specific Learning Disability
In-School Suspension <= 10
In-School Suspension >10
Out-of-School Suspension <= 10
Out-of-School Suspension >10
All Suspensions
Regular Environment < 40%
Separate Settings

[Note: All racial and ethnic groups within the categories must use the same risk ratio threshold identified for that category.]
34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(i)(A).
Reasonable Minimum Cell Size. Ten (10). 34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(i)(B).

Reasonable Minimum N Size. Thirty (30). 34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(i)(C).

Standard for Reasonable Progress. ≥ .5 progress in lowering the risk ratio in each of the most recent 2 consecutive years. 34 C.F.R. § 300.647(b)(1)(i)(D).

The public comment period will run through October 14, 2017. Please submit written comments to SESPublicComments@ksde.org or mail comments to Early Childhood, Special Education, and Title Services, Kansas State Department of Education, 900 SW Jackson Street, Suite 620, Topeka, Kansas 66612. You are also welcome to present comments at public hearings held in the State Board Meeting Room (Suite 102) from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3, and October 10, 2017, at the Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackson Street, Topeka.

To read 34. C.F.R. §§ 300.646 and .647 please visit www.ecfr.gov.


Early Childhood, Special Education, and Title Services Team

Colleen Riley

Assistant Director
Tiffany Blevins

Assistant Director
Doug Boline

Assistant Director
Kerry Haag

Assistant Director
Laura Jurgensen

Assistant Director
Tate Toedman

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