Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology




College of Science & Mathematics


Dihoff, Roberta


Hispanics, New Jersey, Special Education


Hispanic Americans--Education--New Jersey; Special education--New Jersey; Educational equalization


Disability and Equity in Education


The over-representation of Hispanics of Special Education programs has been a debate for years now. Over-representation happens when the percentage of minority students in special education programs is greater than in the school population as a whole. This study attempts to evaluate the causes and problems of the over-representation. There are a number of factors that could explain the disproportionality of this issue. This study identifies multiple factors that shape this problem. One of the factors that could be influencing this issue is poverty and low SES. This paper looks at the lowest SES county in New Jersey vs. the highest SES, based on median household income. The richest county that I look at is called Hunterdon whereas the poorest county is Cumberland County. This article compares the numbers from each of these counties and sees whether this problem will be expected the following year. I computed the percentage of minorities in Special Education Programs based on the percentage attending school in each County as well as what percentage will be expected based on the normal curve. It provides literature on the history of the over-representation along with contributing factors to the disproportionality in special education.