Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education

Focus Area: Students with Disabilities

Leaders, Teachers

Phase: Targeted Support

Available Now


How does bias impact special education? Compared to their peers, students of color in special education are more often placed in separate settings, students living in poverty are more likely to be identified as having a learning disability, and English language learners more often are marked eligible for special education services. When students are placed in overly restrictive settings or incorrectly marked as eligible or ineligible for special education services, the consequences can impact students for their whole educational career and lead to negative outcomes after graduation.

This workshop is intended to support teachers of all types, school leaders, and other school staff. Through this workshop, participants will build their understanding of disproportionality within special education and how it impacts students, teachers, and the broader school system then make a plan for how they can address disproportionality at their school within their own roles.


  • 2 hours
  • Participants will need a computer with access to Zoom, a camera, a microphone, and stable Internet connectivity


I foster a positive culture in my classroom and school community around disability awareness.

Learning Experience

In this workshop, learners will:

  • Examine the concept of disproportionality in special education, including its origins and its effects
  • Examine the impacts of disproportionality in their own classrooms and school settings
  • Explore resources and changes to systems that teachers and schools can implement to address disproportionality by minimizing bias
  • Make a plan for addressing disproportionality and refine their plan through peer feedback