SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- The Schenectady City School District has entered into a resolution agreement with the U.S. Education Department on race equality when it comes to special education programs.
The Education Department initiated an investigation into whether the district discriminated against black and Latino students when referring them for special education evaluation.
According to the report, there was a disproportional amount of black and Latino students enrolled in special education programs in the 2012-2013 school year. The report also shows elementary school teachers who had racially diverse classrooms only referred non-white students while other students similar in nature were not referred.
The district has agreed to a number of initiatives, including the development of a plan for a universal screening process and will hire an expert to examine the cause of overrepresentation of black and Latino students in special education programs.
The district released a statement regarding the resolution agreement from Superintendent Larry Spring, who said, “We had identified disparities and have been working to change those systems. We do have a plan in place, beyond what is mandated, and the Office of Civil Rights has responded that they are pleased with what we are doing. All of the changes are underway and are currently being implemented. We will continue on the path. Our vision is to ensure that race, economics and disability are not predictors for academic achievement.”