Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Crites, Steven


Discrimination in education--New Jersey; Educational equalization--New Jersey; Minorities--Education--New Jersey; Special education--New Jersey


Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an overrepresentation of minority students in special education in southern New Jersey Public Schools. Data was disaggregated to the district level for 25 randomly chosen public school districts in southern New Jersey. Data were reported on the total school population and the total number of students classified as eligible for special education. These data were further broken down in both categories (i.e. total school population and special education) by race/ethnicity and by gender. In addition, special education data were also reported by specific disability category. These data were presented using three different indices: composition index, risk index, and odds ratio. The New Jersey District Factor Group (DFG) indices were used to determine the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) on overrepresentation. SES did appear to have a correlation with the overrepresentation of minority students in the category of Learning Disabilities. Overrepresentation of minority students in special education was documented in many of southern New Jersey's Public School Districts.