By Paul L. Morgan and George Farkas
Are U.S. schools widely over-identifying children as disabled based on their race or ethnicity? Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and many scholars think so. They are well-intentioned but wrong.
The best-available empirical studies repeatedly find that the opposite is occurring. White children are much more likely than otherwise similar racial and ethnic minority children to receive special education services in the U.S. Ensuring equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) means making sure all children with disabilities are able to access the services to which they have a civil right.