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Policy to protect minority students with disabilities postponed

Students with disabilities already face a host of challenges when it comes to their education. There may be physical or cognitive limitations to consider, or the need for specialized instruction plans. Whatever the need may be, the unfortunate reality is that many students do not get what they need to succeed.

It is not necessarily getting any easier, either. The Education Department recently announced that it was postponing by two years a measure intended to tackle issues involving the unfair treatment minority students face in some areas.

The measure was approved in 2016 by then-President Obama. It was directed at states where there are disproportionate numbers of minority students being identified as disabled in some way and facing harsher discipline.

The rule required states to intervene in districts with significant racial disparities in special education programs. It was supposed to start in July of this year.

However, citing unspecified "concerns" about the rule, the Education Department recently announced it would postpone the rule for two more years.

As this Courthouse News article reports, some people speculate that the decision to postpone stems from financial concerns over the cost of the program. It is estimated to cost up to $91 million over the next 10 years to properly address the issue.

Unfortunately, this decision will affect students across Florida who are improperly identified as disabled, subjected to harsher discipline and separated from other students based on the color of their skin.

If your child is receiving unfair treatment in school based on disability or race, then it is crucial that you take action to address the situation. While this can seem overwhelming, understand that you do not have to do this alone. You can work with an attorney who understands state and federal education laws and can help you build a legal claim, if necessary.

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