Response to directed questions
Guided Question 1: Section 504 Preschool Education Only, Student Enrollment
For CRDC 2021-22, OCR proposes to begin collecting preschool enrollment data for preschool students with disabilities who are only served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The data would be collected by gender and race/ethnicity, and gender and English learner (EL).
To inform the OCR’s decision, please answer the following questions:
Have local education agencies (LEAs) enrolled preschoolers only under Section 504 in preschool programs?
We support the collection of enrollment data for preschool students with disabilities who are only served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Preschoolers are entitled to the civil rights protections offered under Section 504 and should therefore be counted appropriately. Additionally, students served under Section 504 often have different experiences than students served under IDEA, making the distinction of the two important as an accountability mechanism. With this disaggregated data, we will be better able to understand how preschools are meeting the distinct rights granted under Section 504 and IDEA and identify trends and potential disparities in preschool student enrollment. disabled serviced only under Section 504.
Guiding question 2: Enrolling preschool students in programs for gifted and talented students
The CRDC is currently collecting the number of students enrolled in preschool and the years K-12 (or ungraded equivalent) who were enrolled in gifted and talented programs. Specifically, LEAs currently provide counts by gender and race/ethnicity, gender and EL, and gender and student served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For the 2021-2022 CRDC, OCR is exploring the possibility of removing preschool students from the gifted and talented programs data element.
Gifted and Talented Programs are programs during regular school hours that provide special educational opportunities, including accelerated promotion through grades and grades and an enriched curriculum for students with a high degree of mental capacity or who demonstrate a physical coordination, unusual creativity, interest or talent.
To inform the OCR’s decision, please answer the following question:
- Have LEAs enrolled preschool students in gifted and talented programs?
Although the undersigned groups are unaware of the extent to which LEAs have enrolled preschool students in gifted and talented programs, we urge the OCR to continue to collect data on gifted and talented enrollments for preschool, given historical inequalities in enrollment in such programs among students. of color, students from low-income families and English language learners and the increased difculty of enrolling in these programs as students age. Additionally, given the investments proposed in preschool by the administration through its Build Back Better program, it will be important to continue collecting preschool data as we may see a surge in preschool enrollment – with related changes to preschool programs. gifted and talented – as a result.
Guided question 3: Non-binary students
For the CRDC 2021-22, the OCR proposes to expand the gender category (currently male and female) to include non-binary. OCR also proposes to define non-binary as follows:
Non-binary refers to a student who does not identify exclusively as male or female. Non-binary does not refer to a transgender student who identifies exclusively as male or female.
LEAs that indicate they collect this information from students will be required to report student registration data for non-binary students. Elsewhere in the survey, the inclusion of data on non-binary students in gender-disaggregated data elements will be optional for LEAs for the 2021–22 CRDC, but will be required for future CRDCs.
The inclusion of a non-binary gender category will allow OCR to capture data that will provide a better understanding of the experiences of non-binary students, and help advance OCR’s mission to enforce the ban on Title IX sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. According to OCR research, there are 11 SEAs that already allow three categories to be reported for student gender.
To inform the OCR’s decision, please answer the following questions:
- Did LEAs collect data using a non-binary third gender category?
- What barriers, if any, have LEAs faced in collecting this data?
- What changes, if any, should OCR make to the proposed definition for non-binary?
As noted above, we support expanding the gender category to include non-binary students and believe that the benefits of including the new category far outweigh any barriers LEAs may face in the collection and communication of this data. We also support making this additional gender category optional for respondents in the 2021-22 collection (except for student registration questions) and moving to requiring the collection of data on non-binary students in additional domains beyond school enrollment in subsequent surveys. However, we believe the OCR should clarify whether this planned expansion will apply only to schools and LEAs that already collect data on non-binary students, or to all respondents, to ensure that all entities will be ready to report on the experiences of these students in future collections.
Additionally, we believe that OCR’s proposed definition of non-binary is clear enough for LEAs. The current definition distinguishes non-binary categories from existing male and female categories, while clarifying that the definition does not include students who identify as transgender.
Guided question 4: Chemical or irritant restraint
OCR is investigating the possibility of collecting new data on student restraints involving the use of chemicals or irritants in public schools, for future CRDCs (after the 2021–22 CRDC). To inform the OCR’s decision, please answer the following questions:
- Have LEAs and schools collected data on the use of chemical or irritating restraints in schools, including the use of medication outside of a prescribed purpose and for the purpose of sedating a student , and the use of pepper spray, tear gas or other irritating chemicals or restraints on students?
- Should data collection include the use of chemical or irritant restraints by a sworn law enforcement officer assigned to a school?
- What barriers, if any, might LEAs face when collecting this data?
We urge the OCR to collect data on the use of chemical restraint by a sworn law enforcement officer and/or school personnel assigned/employed by a school, from the 2021-2022 CRDC. The following new elements and definitions are recommended:
- Pupils (K-12) subject to chemical restraint:
- Number of non-IDEA students subjected to chemical restraint (disaggregated by race, gender, non-binary, disability – Section 504 only, EL); (Optional for CRDC 2021-22) (Optional non-binary extension for CRDC 2021-22)
- Number of students with disabilities (IDEA) subjected to chemical restraint (disaggregated by race, gender, non-binary, EL). (Optional for CRDC 2021-22) (Optional non-binary extension for CRDC 2021-22)
Proposed Definition: The term “chemical restraint” means a drug or medication used on a student to control his behavior and restrict his freedom of movement that is not:
- prescribed by a licensed physician or other qualified medical professional acting within the professional’s authority under state law, for the standard treatment of a student’s medical or psychiatric condition; and
- administered as prescribed by the licensed physician or other qualified healthcare professional
professional acting under the professional’s authority under state law.
Source: HR 3474/S.1858 – All Student Safety Act (117th Congress)
Furthermore, any collection of data on chemical restraint should be broad enough to include a wide range of individuals. For example, OCR could use the definition of “law enforcement” in the Keeping All Students Safe Act, but not limit the data collected to just law enforcement. By adding “school personnel assigned to/employed by a school”, the OCR could also capture information on the wide range of school personnel (teachers, counsellors, security guards, etc.) who may use these means of chemical restraints or irritants. Any adult in a school using these measures should be included in the data, and it should be disaggregated to identify any disparities or biases in the use of these measures.