**From Jim Gerl's Special Education Law Blog**

**By Jim Gerl. Esq.**

**November 30, 2016**

The Department of Education has issued its thirty-eighth annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of IDEA. The report contains a wealth of data, graphs, charts and information concerning many aspects of the special education law. You should check it out.

*Read or download the complete report*

**HERE**.Here are the primary findings concerning special education under Part B of IDEA for students ages 6 to 21:

- In 2014, a total of 5,944,241 students ages 6 through 21 were served under IDEA, Part B. Of these students, 5,825,505 were served in the 49 states for which data were available, the District of Columbia, and BIE schools. This number represented 8.7 percent of the resident population ages 6 through 21.The total number of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2005 was 6,109,569. In each year between 2005 through 2011, the number of students served was less than in the previous year. However, more students were served under Part B in 2012 and in each subsequent year through 2014. In 2005, 9 percent of the resident population ages 6 through 21 were served under Part B. Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of the population served gradually decreased to 8.4 percent. The percentage served remained at 8.4 percent until 2013, when it increased to 8.5 percent. In 2014, the percentage increased to 8.7 percent (Exhibit 18).

- The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2005 was 9.0 percent. Thereafter, the percentage stayed the same or slightly decreased, reaching a low of 8.4 percent in 2010. The percentage remained at 8.4 until 2013 when it increased to 8.5. In 2014, the percentage increased to 8.7. Between 2005 and 2011, the percentage of the population ages 6 through 11 served under IDEA, Part B, decreased gradually from 11.5 percent to 10.6 percent. The percentage increased in each year thereafter and reached 11.1 percent in 2014. The percentage of the population ages 12 through 17 served under Part B decreased gradually from 11.5 percent to 10.8 percent between 2005 and 2010, where it stayed until 2014 when the percentage reached 11 percent. The percentage of the population ages 18 through 21 served under Part B, was 1.9 percent in each year from 2005 through 2008, and 2 percent in each year from 2009 through 2014 (Exhibit 19).

- In 2014, the most prevalent disability category of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, was specific learning disabilities (39.2 percent). The next most common disability category was speech or language impairments (17.6 percent), followed by other health impairments (14.4 percent), autism (8.6 percent), intellectual disabilities (7.0 percent), and emotional disturbance (5.9 percent). Students ages 6 through 21 in “Other disabilities combined” accounted for the remaining 7.3 percent of students ages 6 through 21 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 2005 and 2014. The percentages of the population reported under autism and other health impairments both increased by 0.5 of a percentage point and the percentage of the population reported under specific learning disabilities decreased by 0.7 of a percentage point (Exhibit 21).

- Between 2005 and 2014, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of autism increased gradually from 0.3 percent to 0.8 percent. Between 2005 and 2014, 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 124 percent, 213 percent, and 236 percent larger in 2014 than in 2005, respectively (Exhibit 22).**

- From 2005 through 2014, 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 gradually from 0.8 percent to 1.3 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 43 percent, 55 percent, and 95 percent larger in 2014 than in 2005, respectively (Exhibit 23).

- From 2005 through 2014, 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 4.1 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 16 percent, 16 percent, and 8 percent smaller in 2014 than in 2005, respectively (Exhibit 24).

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 (i.e., 0.5, 0.9, and 0.9, 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 were as likely to be served under Part B as children ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 25).*In 2014, 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., 1.7, 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.*

- In 2014, American Indian or Alaska Native students, Black or African American students, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students ages 6 through 21 were more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (1.68, 1.41, and 1.59, respectively).
Hispanic/Latino students were about as likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, as were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (1.01). American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 were 4.09 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 (0.94). Asian students ages 6 through 21 were 1.11 and 1.17 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for autism and hearing impairments, 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.*Asian students, White students, and students associated with two or more races ages 6 through 21 were less likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (0.47, 0.90, and 0.87, respectively).*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 (0.99), deafblindness (0.76), and orthopedic impairments (0.86). Hispanic or Latino students ages 6 through 21 were 1.04, 1.35, 1.21, 1.31, and 1.08 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for deaf-blindness, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, specific learning disabilities, and speech and language 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 3.4, 2.35, and 2.71 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 1.16, 1.1, 1.11, 1.28, and 1.29 times more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for autism, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities, other health impairments, and traumatic brain injury, respectively, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Students associated with two or more races ages 6 through 21 were 1.24 and 1.19 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).*Black or African American students ages 6 through 21 were 2.08 and 2.22 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.*

- For the students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2014, specific learning disabilities was the most prevalent disability category for every racial/ethnic group. In particular, this disability category accounted for 45.4 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native students, 25.7 percent of Asian students, 41.1 percent of Black or African American students, 47.4 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 50.7 percent of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students, 35 percent of White students, and 34.4 percent of the children xxvii associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups. Speech or language impairments was the second or third most prevalent category for students ages 6 through 21 in every racial/ethnic group. The students served in this disability category accounted for 14.7 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native students, 25.4 percent of Asian students, 13.4 percent of Black or African American students, 19 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 10.4 percent of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students, 18.3 percent of White students, and 18.1 percent of the students associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups (Exhibit 27).

- In 2014, a total of 94.7 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 (62.6 percent), were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. A total of 18.6 percent of students ages 6 through 21 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 13.5 percent were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. Only 5.3 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated outside of the regular classroom in “Other environments” (Exhibit 28). • From 2005 through 2014, 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 53.6 percent to 62.6 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 25.8 percent in 2005 to 18.6 percent in 2014. Similarly, the percentage of these students educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day decreased from 16.6 percent to 13.5 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 2005 to 5.3 percent in 2014. However, it had also accounted for as much as 5.3 percent in 2007 and 2009 (Exhibit 29).

- In 2014, 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 (86.8 percent) were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. Only 16.9 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 (49.2 percent) and students reported under the category of multiple disabilities (46.0 percent) were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. In 2014, larger percentages of students reported under the categories of deaf-blindness (29.0 percent) and multiple disabilities (24.3 percent) than students reported under other disability categories were educated in “Other environments” (Exhibit 30).

- In 2014 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 50 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 54.9 percent to 65.3 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 16.5 and 26.3 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 (21.0 percent), were xxviii educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. “Other environments” accounted for less than 6 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group (Exhibit 31).

- In school year 2013–14, between 41.3 and 48.5 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 21 and 28.4 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards without accommodations in math. In contrast, 37.9 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school participated in a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards without accommodations in math. Between 10.5 and 11.8 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 participated in a field test of a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in math. In contrast, only 1 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school participated in a field test of a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in math. Of all students who participated in some type of alternate assessment in math in school year 2013–14, larger percentages of these students in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school took an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards than the other three types of alternate tests (Exhibit 32).

- In school year 2013–14, between 40.8 and 45.3 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 24.2 and 37.1 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. Between 10.5 and 11.8 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 participated in a field test of a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in reading. In contrast, only 0.9 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school participated in a field test of a regular assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards in reading. Of the students in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school who participated in some type of alternate assessment in reading in school year 2013– 14, a larger percentage took an alternate assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards than the other three types of alternate tests (Exhibit 32).

- No more than 4.26 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 2013–14 were classified as nonparticipants. Similarly, no more than 3.94 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 2013–14 were classified as nonparticipants. Larger percentages of the students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school in school year 2013–14 were classified as nonparticipants for both the math assessment (6.14 percent) and the reading assessment (6.29 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 4 percent for high school students expected to be assessed in math (5.20 percent) and high school students expected to be assessed in reading (4.90 percent) (Exhibit 33).

- In school year 2013–14, between 47 and 48 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) 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 xxix and high school and had non-suppressed data. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5 who were found to be proficient with these math tests was 36.1 percent, 34.4 percent and 27.4 percent, respectively. The median percentage of students in grade 6 through high school who were found to be proficient with these tests was in a range from 16.8 percent to 20.1 percent. An alternate assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards for math was not administered by any jurisdiction to 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 8 to 11 jurisdictions. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 7 who were found to be proficient with these math tests was in a range from 46.5 percent to 56.8 percent. The median percentage of students in each of grade 8 and high school who were found to be proficient with these tests was 37.5 percent and 35.7 percent, respectively. Non-suppressed data were available for between 50 and 52 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 70.2 percent to 72.6 percent (Exhibit 34).

- In school year 2013–14, between 47 and 49 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) 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 23.1 percent to 32.1 percent. An alternate assessment based on grade-level academic achievement standards for reading was administered by one jurisdiction to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and by no jurisdiction to students served under IDEA, Part B, in high school. An alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards for reading was administered by 7 to 11 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 except grade 6 who were found to be proficient with these reading tests was in a range from 54.5 percent to 62.2 percent. The median percentage of students served under IDEA, Part B, in grade 6 who were found to be proficient with these reading tests was 43.4 percent. Non-suppressed data were available for 48 to 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 71 percent to 75.7 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 2013–14 (42.1 percent), followed by moved, known to be continuing in education (27.2 percent) and dropped out (11.8 percent) (Exhibit 35).

- In 2013–14, a total of 66.1 percent of the students ages 14 through 21 who exited IDEA, Part B, and school graduated with a regular high school diploma; an additional 18.5 percent dropped out. From 2004–05 through 2013–14, the percentage of students who exited special education and school by having graduated with a regular high school diploma increased from xxx 54.4 percent to 66.1 percent. From 2004–05 through 2013–14, the percentage of students who exited special education and school by having dropped out decreased from 28.3 percent to 18.5 percent (Exhibit 36). • From 2004–05 through 2013–14, the graduation percentage increased for students who exited IDEA, Part B, and school in all disability categories. Increases of at least 10 percentage points were associated with the following five disability categories: emotional disturbance (14.6 percentage points), speech or language impairments (12.9 percentage points), specific learning disabilities (11.2 percentage points), other health impairments (10.3 percent points), and autism (10.0 percentage points). In every year from 2004–05 through 2013–14, except 2006–07, the disability category of visual impairments was associated with the largest graduation percentage. The students reported under the category of intellectual disabilities had the smallest graduation percentages from 2004–05 through 2013–14 (Exhibit 37).

- From 2004–05 through 2013–14, 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 (-13.0 percentage points) and speech or language impairments (-11.8 percentage points). In each year from 2004–05 through 2013–14, 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 2013, a total of 355,570, or 93.9 percent, of the 378,614 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).

- In 2013, a total of 400,040, or 96 percent, of the 416,798 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). Children and Students Ages 3 Through 21 Served Under IDEA, Part B

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