Alaska Solution

Consistent with IDEA 2004, The State of Alaska published “legal citations” for evaluation and eligibility of special education pupils.

“States must have in effect policies and procedures designed to prevent inappropriate overidentification or disproportionate representation by race or ethnicity of children with disabilities, including particular disability categories (Alaska). 

Disproportionality refers to the overrepresentation/overidentification or under representation/under identification of the number of students of a particular racial/ethnic group in any given area of education.  The over or under representation of racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students in special education has been considered one of the most significant challenges faced across the country in the last few decades.”

Eligibility criteria were spelled out for every category of disability to guide IEP teams in making decisions. Here are the criteria for speech or language impaired pupils:

“A. exhibit a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects educational performance; and

B. require special facilities, equipment, or methods to make his or her educational program effective; and

C. be diagnosed by a physician, speech-language pathologist, or a speech-language therapist as speech or language impaired; and

D. be certified by a group consisting of qualified professionals and a parent of the child as qualifying for and needing special education services.”

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