TAUNTON ー Superintendent John Cabral and Director of Special Education Amy Moynihan are pleased to announce that the Taunton Public Schools has received a positive report from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regarding the district’s special education equity initiatives and indicators.
The report, which was received Thursday, Sept. 22, is part of DESE’s priority to increase educational access and equity for the state’s most marginalized students, especially students with disabilities. This priority necessitates that inequities are identified in special education and how local districts can respond to them.
The report outlined five initiatives and indicators, and in none of these areas were the Taunton Public Schools flagged as having inequities or needing improvement.
The five areas in the report include:
Indicators 4A and 4B, required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), measure whether students with IEPs from certain racial and ethnic groups are suspended or expelled more than students with IEPs statewide. Taunton Public Schools was listed as “Not Identified” in these categories in their report.
Indicators 9 and 10, also required by IDEA, measure whether students from certain racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately receiving special education services, both in general and in specific disability categories, because they were inappropriately determined eligible for special education services. Taunton Public Schools was listed as “Not Flagged” in these categories in their report.
Significant Disproportionality, also required by IDEA, measures whether students from certain racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately receiving special education services in specific disability categories, whether they are disproportionately placed in certain settings, and whether they are disproportionately receiving certain kinds of disciplinary removals. Taunton Public Schools was listed as “Not Identified or At-Risk” in this category in their report.
“This report reaffirms the district’s commitment to ensuring that all students have equitable access to the plethora of educational services and resources our district offers to each and everyone,” said Superintendent Cabral. “This recognition wouldn’t be possible without the work of our diligent special education staff members who always strive to ensure that no group of students is being treated disproportionately. I thank everyone for their work so far, and I’m pleased to share that we will continue to grow our opportunities to ensure that all students have equal access to the highest level of education as possible.”