From Jim Gerl, Esq.'s Special Education Law Blog
By Jim Gerl
May 30, 2015
The National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education has released "The Condition of Education 2015." The report has a wealth of information that will be useful to everybody involved in the field of education. Although the data includes many topics other than special education, the IDEA numbers are always interesting.
Here are some of the special education highlights:
"From school years 1990–91 through 2004–05, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 who received special education services increased, as did the percentage of total public school enrollment they constituted: 4.7 million children and youth ages 3–21, or about 11 percent of public school enrollment, received special education services in 1990–91, compared with 6.7 million, or about 14 percent, in 2004–05.
Both the number and percentage of children and youth served under IDEA declined from 2004–05 through 2011–12, with some evidence of leveling off in 2012–13. By 2012–13, the number of children and youth receiving services under IDEA had declined to 6.4 million, corresponding to 13 percent of total public school enrollment." (emphasis added.)
"... In 2012–13, some 35 percent of all children and youth receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities, 21 percent had speech or language impairments, and 12 percent had other health impairments (including having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes).
Children and youth with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, or emotional disturbances each accounted for between 6 and 8 percent of students served under IDEA. Children and youth with multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, or deaf-blindness each accounted for 2 percent or less of those served under IDEA."
"About 95 percent of school-age children and youth ages 6–21 who were served under IDEA in 2012–13 were enrolled in regular schools. Some 3 percent of children and youth ages 6–21 who were served under IDEA were enrolled in separate schools (public or private) for students with disabilities; 1 percent were placed by their parents in regular private schools; and less than 1 percent each were in separate residential facilities (public or private), homebound or in hospitals, or in correctional facilities.
Among all children and youth ages 6–21 who were served under IDEA, the percentage who spent most of the school day (i.e., 80 percent or more of time) in general classes in regular schools increased from 33 percent in 1990–91 to 61 percent in 2012–13. In contrast, during the same period, the percentage of those who spent 40 to 79 percent of the school day in general classes declined from 36 to 20 percent, and the percentage of those who spent less than 40 percent of time inside general classes also declined from 25 to 14 percent.
In 2012–13, the percentage of students served under IDEA who spent most of the school day in general classes was highest for students with speech or language impairments (87 percent). Approximately two-thirds of students with specific learning disabilities (67 percent), students with visual impairments (64 percent), students with other health impairments (64 percent), and students with developmental delays (62 percent) spent most of the school day in general classes.
In contrast, 16 percent of students with intellectual disabilities and 13 percent of students with multiple disabilities spent most of the school day in general classes."
You may review the entire 320 page report here. An "at a glance" summary is available here. Some of the highlights of the report are available here.