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Thursday, January 28, 2016

OSERS Issues Annual Report to Congress

From Jim Gerl, Esq.'s
Special Education Law Blog

By Jim Gerl, Esq.
January 22, 2016

You can review the entire 247 page report here.


Last month OSERS (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services) issued its annual report to the U. S. Congress. The report contains a wealth of information about special education in America. In addition to numerous charts and graphs, the thirty-seventh annual report to congress of Implementation of IDEA contains information on both Part C and Part B.

The data and findings include child count, educational environments, participation in assessments, discipline and dispute resolution.


Here are some key national findings for students age 6 - 21 served under Part B:
  • In 2013, a total of 5,847,624 students ages 6 through 21 were served under IDEA, Part B. Of these students, 5,734,391 were served in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and BIE schools. This number represented 8.5 percent of the resident population ages 6 through 21. The total number of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2004 was 6,118,437. In each year between 2004 through 2011, the number of students served was less than in the previous year. However, more students were served under Part B in 2012 than in 2011; and more students were served under Part B in 2013 than in 2012. In 2004, 9.1 percent of the resident population ages 6 through 21 were served under Part B. Between 2004 and 2010, the percentage of the population served decreased to 8.4 percent. The percentage served remained at 8.4 percent until 2013, when it increased to 8.5 percent (Exhibit 18).
  • The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, was 9.1 percent in 2004. Thereafter, the percentage decreased gradually, reaching a low of 8.4 percent in 2010. The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2004 was 9.1 percent. Thereafter, the percentage decreased gradually, reaching a low of 8.4 percent in 2010. The percentage remained at 8.4 percent until 2013, when it increased to 8.5 percent. Between 2004 and 2011, the percentage of the population ages 6 through 11 served under IDEA, Part B, decreased gradually from 11.4 percent to 10.6 percent. The percentage increased in both 2012 and 2013, when it reached 10.9 percent. The percentage of the population ages 12 through 17 served under Part B decreased gradually from 11.6 percent to 10.8 percent between 2004 and 2013. In contrast, the percentage of the population ages 18 through 21 served under Part B, increased or stayed the same in each successive year from 2004 through 2009, when it peaked at 2 percent. The percentage did not change after 2009 (Exhibit 19).
  • In 2013, the most prevalent disability category of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, was specific learning disabilities (39.5 percent). The next most common disability category was speech or language impairments (17.9 percent), followed by other health impairments (13.8 percent), autism (8.2 percent), intellectual disabilities (7.1 percent), and emotional disturbance (6.0 percent). Students ages 6 through 21 in “Other disabilities xxv combined” accounted for the remaining 7.4 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B (Exhibit 20).
  • The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, reported under each of three disability categories changed by more than two-tenths of a percentage point between 2004 and 2013. The percentages of the population reported under autism and other health impairments increased by 0.5 of a percentage point and 0.4 of a percentage point, respectively, while the percentage of the population reported under specific learning disabilities decreased by 0.8 of a percentage point (Exhibit 21).
  • Between 2004 and 2013, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of autism increased steadily from 0.2 percent to 0.7 percent. Between 2004 and 2013, the percentages of the populations ages 6 through 11, 12 through 17, and 18 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that were reported under the category of autism all increased. Specifically, the percentages of these three age groups that were reported under the category of autism were 145 percent, 242 percent, and 258 percent larger in 2013 than in 2004, respectively (Exhibit 22).
  • From 2004 through 2013, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of other health impairments increased from 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent. The percentages of the populations ages 6 through 11, 12 through 17, and 18 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that were reported under the category of other health impairments were 45 percent, 624 percent, and 104 percent larger in 2013 than in 2004, respectively (Exhibit 23).
  • From 2004 through 2013, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of specific learning disabilities decreased from 4.2 percent to 3.4 percent. The percentages of the populations ages 6 through 11, 12 through 17, and 18 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that were reported under the category of specific learning disabilities were 20 percent, 19 percent, and 8 percent smaller in 2013 than in 2004, respectively (Exhibit 24).
  • In 2013, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander children ages 6 through 21 had risk ratios above 1 (i.e., 1.6, 1.4, and 1.6, respectively). This indicates that the children in each group were more likely to be served under Part B than were the children ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Asian and White children ages 6 through 21 as well as children ages 6 through 21 associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups, with risk ratios of less than 1.0 (i.e., 0.5, 0.9, and 0.8, respectively), were less likely to be served under Part B than were the children ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Hispanic/Latino children ages 6 through 21, with a risk ratio of 1.0, were as likely to be served under Part B as children ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 25).
  • American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 were 3.8 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay than students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 was larger than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for all disability categories except autism (0.88) and orthopedic impairments (0.95). Asian students ages 6 through 21were 1.15 and 1.21 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for autism and hearing impairments, xxvi respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for Asian students ages 6 through 21 was smaller than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for each of the other disability categories. Black or African American students ages 6 through 21 were 2.14 and 2.26 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for emotional disturbance and intellectual disabilities, respectively, than were the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for Black or African American students ages 6 through 21 was larger than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for every disability category except autism (0.97), deafblindness (0.75), and orthopedic impairments (0.83). Hispanic or Latino students ages 6 through 21 were 1.34, 1.21, and 1.29 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for hearing impairments, specific learning disabilities, and orthopedic impairments, respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students ages 6 through 21 were 4.15, 2.52, and 2.81 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for deaf-blindness, developmental delay, and hearing impairments, respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students ages 6 through 21 was larger than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for every other disability category as well. White students ages 6 through 21 were 1.21, 1.31, and 1.31 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for autism, other health impairments, and traumatic brain injury, respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Students ages 6 through 21 associated with two or more races were 1.15 and 1.11 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay and emotional disturbance, respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. The risk ratio for students associated with two or more races ages 6 through 21 was smaller than the risk ratio for the students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for every other disability category (Exhibit 26).
  • For the students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2013, specific learning disabilities was the most prevalent disability category for every racial/ethnic group. In particular, this disability category accounted for 45.2 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native students, 26.1 percent of Asian students, 41.5 percent of Black or African American students, 47.9 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 49.3 percent of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students, 35.4 percent of White students, and 34.9 percent of the children associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups (Exhibit 27).
  • In 2013, a total of 95 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated in regular classrooms for at least some portion of the school day. More than 60 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, (62.1 percent) were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. A total of 19.2 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, were educated inside the regular class no more than 79% of the day and no less than 40% of the day, and 13.7 percent were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. Only 5 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, were educated outside of the regular classroom in “Other environments” (Exhibit 28).
  • From 2004 through 2013, the percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day increased from 51.8 percent to 62.1 percent. The percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, educated inside the regular class no more than 79% of the day and no less than 40% of the day decreased from 26.4 percent in 2004 to 19.2 percent in 2013. Similarly, the percentage of xxvii these students educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day decreased from 17.8 percent to 13.7 percent between these years. The percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, educated in “Other environments” increased from 4 percent in 2004 to 5 percent in 2013. However, it had accounted for as much as 5.3 percent in 2007 and 2009 (Exhibit 29).
  • In 2013, the percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in each educational environment varied by disability category. More than 8 in 10 students reported under the category of speech or language impairments (87.1 percent) were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. Only 16.7 percent of students reported under the category of intellectual disabilities and 13.4 percent of students reported under the category of multiple disabilities were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. Almost one-half of students reported under the category of intellectual disabilities (49.1 percent) and students reported under the category of multiple disabilities (46.2 percent) were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. In 2013, larger percentages of students reported under the categories of deaf-blindness (29.5 percent) and multiple disabilities (24.1 percent) than students reported under other disability categories were educated in “Other environments” (Exhibit 30).
  • In 2013, for each racial/ethnic group, the largest percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, was educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. The students who were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day accounted for at least 49 percent of the students in each of the racial/ethnic groups. The percentages of students in the racial/ethnic groups who were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day ranged from 49.7 percent to 65.1 percent. The category inside the regular class no more than 79% of the day and no less than 40% of the day accounted for between 16.8 and 30.3 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group. In contrast, less than 20 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group, except for Asian students (21.1 percent), were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. “Other environments” accounted for less than 5.9 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group (Exhibit 31).
  • In school year 2012–13, between 38.3 and 51.2 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards with accommodations in math. Between 24.8 and 38.4 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards without accommodations in math. Of all students who participated in some type of alternate assessment in math in school year 2012–13, larger percentages of these students in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school took an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards than the other two types of alternate tests. (Exhibit 32).
  • In school year 2012–13, between 39.3 and 46.4 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards with accommodations in reading. Between 29.3 and 37.7 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards without accommodations in reading. Of the students in each of grades 3 through 8 who participated in some type of alternate assessment in reading in school year 2012–13, a larger percentage took an alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards. In contrast, a larger percentage of the students in high xxviii school who participated in some type of alternate assessment in reading took an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards (Exhibit 32).
  • No more than 2.23 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, who were expected to take a math assessment in each of grades 3 through 8 in school year 2012–13 were classified as nonparticipants. Similarly, no more than 2.07 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, who were expected to take a reading assessment in each of grades 3 through 8 in school year 2012–13 were classified as nonparticipants. Larger percentages of the students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school in school year 2012–13 were classified as nonparticipants for both the math assessment (5.43 percent) and the reading assessment (5.38 percent). Of the three nonparticipant categories, students who did not take any assessment accounted for more of the nonparticipants in each grade in both math and reading. However, the percentage only exceeded 2 percent for high school students expected to be assessed in math (4.54 percent) and high school students expected to be assessed in reading (4.16 percent) (Exhibit 33).
  • In school year 2012–13, between 49 and 52 of the 59 jurisdictions (i.e., the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states) for which data were available administered a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in math to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school and had non-suppressed data. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in grade 3 and in grade 4 who were found to be proficient with these math tests was 39.9 percent and 40.2 percent, respectively. The median percentage of students in grade 5 through high school who were found to be proficient with these tests was in a range from 19 percent to 31.3 percent. An alternate assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards for math was administered by one jurisdiction to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. An alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards for math was administered to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school by 12 or 13 jurisdictions. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 6 who were found to be proficient with these math tests was in a range from 49.9 percent to 58.5 percent. The median percentage of students in each of grades 7 through high school who were found to be proficient with these tests was in a range from 31.5 percent to 43.9 percent. Non-suppressed data were available for 51 to 53 jurisdictions that administered an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards for math to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each grade who were found to be proficient with these math tests was in a range from 70.9 percent to 73.4 percent (Exhibit 34).
  • In school year 2012–13, between 50 and 52 of the 59 jurisdictions (i.e., the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states) for which data were available administered a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in reading to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school and had non-suppressed data. The median percentages of these students who were found to be proficient with these reading tests ranged from 25.4 percent to 37.3 percent. An alternate assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards for reading was administered to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school by three states. The median percentages of students served under IDEA, Part B, in grade 5 who were found to be proficient with this type of reading tests was 85.8 percent. The median percentage of students in each of grades 3, 4, and 6 through 8 who were found to be proficient was in a range from 20.6 percent to 45.8 xxix percent. Zero percent of the students who were in high school were found to be proficient with this type of test. An alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards for reading was administered by 12 or 13 jurisdictions to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each grade who were found to be proficient with these reading tests was in a range from 43.8 percent to 59.8 percent. Non-suppressed data were available for 52 or 53 jurisdictions that administered an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards for reading to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each grade who were found to be proficient with these reading tests was in a range from 70.6 percent to 74 percent (Exhibit 34).
  • Of the seven exit reason categories, graduated with a regular high school diploma accounted for the largest percentage of students ages 14 through 21 who exited special education in 2012–13 (41.8 percent), followed by moved, known to be continuing in education (26.4 percent) and dropped out (12.1 percent) (Exhibit 35).
  • In 2012–13, a total of 65.1 percent of the students ages 14 through 21 who exited IDEA, Part B, and school graduated with a regular high school diploma; an additional 18.8 percent dropped out. From 2003–04 through 2012–13, the percentage of students who exited special education and school by having graduated with a regular high school diploma increased from 54.5 percent to 65.1 percent. From 2003–04 through 2012–13, the percentage of students who exited special education and school by having dropped out decreased from 31.1 percent to 18.8 percent (Exhibit 36).
  • From 2003–04 through 2012–13, the graduation percentage increased for students who exited IDEA, Part B, and school in all disability categories. Increases larger than 10 percent were associated with the following four disability categories: emotional disturbance (15.4 percentage point increase), speech or language impairments (14.9 percentage point increase), other health impairments (10.6 percent point increase), and specific learning disabilities (10.5 percentage point increase). In every year from 2003–04 through 2012–13, except 2006– 07, the disability category of visual impairments was associated with the largest graduation percentage. Moreover, while the students who exited special education and school reported under the category of emotional disturbance had the smallest graduation percentages in 2003–04, the students reported under the category of intellectual disabilities had the smallest graduation percentages from 2004–05 through 2012–13 (Exhibit 37). • From 2003–04 through 2012–13, the dropout percentage decreased for students in each disability category who exited IDEA, Part B, and school. The decreases were most notable for students reported under the categories of emotional disturbance (-16.9 percentage point decrease) and speech or language impairments (-14.9 percentage point decrease). In each year from 2003–04 through 2012–13, a larger percentage of the students reported under the category of emotional disturbance exited special education and school by dropping out. In fact in each year, the dropout percentage was no less than 35 percent, which was substantially larger than the dropout percentage for any other disability category (Exhibit 38).
  • In 2012, a total of 336,656, or 95.2 percent, of the 353,655 FTE special education teachers who provided special education and related services for students ages 6 through 21 under IDEA, Part B, were highly qualified (Exhibit 39). xxx • In 2012, a total of 407,978, or 97.1 percent, of the 420,016 FTE special education paraprofessionals who provided special education and related services for students ages 6 through 21 under IDEA, Part B, were qualified (Exhibit 40).

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