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Talks at Twelve: Katelyn Heath, Thursday, October 17, 2019

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Long-Run Impacts of Limiting Minority Student Access to Special Education
Katelyn Heath, Cornell University

Thursday, October 17, 2019
12:00 - 1:00 PM
423 ILR Conference Center


Special education (SpEd) is a rapidly growing, increasingly expensive component of public education, yet little is known about the causal impacts of SpEd on minority student outcomes. In 2004, Texas implemented the Performance Based Monitoring Analysis System, capping district-level SpEd rates for all students, as well as disproportionality rates for black and Hispanic students. Disproportionality in Texas is defined as the percent of black or Hispanic students in SpEd relative to the of percent of black or Hispanic students in each district. The authors utilize administrative panel data to implement a difference-in-differences estimation strategy. The cap on overall district-level SpEd enrollment led to decreases in minority students’ likelihood of remaining in SpEd, completing high school, attending college, and obtaining post-secondary degrees. The cap on district-level black disproportionality rates led to small increases in the likelihood of completing high school and attending college for black students.

Katelyn Heath is an economics Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University. She obtained a bachelor of science in mathematics and economics from Saint Michael’s College. Her research interests focus on labor economics and the economics of education. She is now working on her dissertation, which focuses on education policy, with an emphasis on students with disabilities. Her current work investigates the impacts of policy limiting access to Special Education services in Texas on student’s short- and long-run outcomes. She is the 2018 recipient of the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.

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