Research has shown that English learners with disabilities should have access to both special education and Title III services as required by law (de Valenzuela et al., 2006, 2018, 2016, 2022; de Valenzuela & Copeland, 2018; Kangas, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021). This quantitative study uncovers issues of educational inequities related to: (a) the identification of these students as English learners; (b) their access to Title III services; and (c) the instructional settings in which they are educated for culturally and linguistically diverse students with Autism (ASD), Developmental Delay (DD), Intellectual Disability (ID), Multiple Disabilities (MD), or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Disaggregated student level data from a large school district in the southwest from the 2018-2019 school year was used for cross-tabulation comparisons using Pearson Chi-squared statistical test for association.
Results from this research suggested that parents of children identified with ASD, DD, ID, MD, or TBI were more likely to opt out of Title III services, English learners with a disability were less likely to be re-designated as fluent in English, English learners identified with ASD, ID, and MD were placed in the most segregated special education setting at a higher rate than students with other disabilities. Additional analyses suggested American Indian/Alaskan Native had the highest percentage of students identified with a disability compared to other race/ethnicity groups. Results suggested clear guidance from district documents on policies should be provided to schools so that federal laws and regulations are not misinterpreted by school administration and teachers.
culturally and linguistically diverse, disability, special education, English learner, language proficiency, complex support needs
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Julia Scherba de Valenzuela
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Yen Kim Pham
Fifth Committee Member
Pacheco, Rosalia. "Issue in Equity for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Complex Support Needs: A Comparative Analysis of District-Level Student Data." (2022). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_spcd_etds/52
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Disability and Equity in Education Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Special Education and Teaching Commons