Additional Guidance on Data for Calculating Significant Disproportionality

OSEP has clarified guidance regarding the data sources for states to examine populations age 3– 21 for the purposes of calculating significant disproportionality in the identification of children with disabilities.

In June 2020, OSEP stated, “OSEP is requiring States to use the File Specification (FS) 089—Children with Disabilities Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Early Childhood and (FS) 002—Children with Disabilities (IDEA) School Age files for the risk numerator and File Specification (FS) 052—Membership for the risk denominator, in examining populations 3-21 for the purposes of calculating significant disproportionality.”  OSEP has clarified that while some states are able to use the FS089, FS002, and FS052 in examining populations 3-21 for the purposes of calculating significant disproportionality, other states may find this problematic. States also can use data that aligns with the FS089 and FS002 and FS052 for calculating significant disproportionality, rather than the frozen data they submitted in FS002, FS089, and FS052.  For example, according to OSEP, states may use current data from their statewide longitudinal data systems to make calculations for determining significant disproportionality. To reiterate, the use of FS002, FS089, and FS052 may be appropriate to develop accurate calculations of significant disproportionality, and states may choose to use these data files but they are not required to do so.                                                   

If you have questions or require additional technical assistance, please contact IDC or your OSEP State Lead.