Section 9: Special Education

This section presents statistics on Special Education programs in the United States, specifically on children served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B. These data concern the number of children with disabilities served (by age and by type of disability), mainstream education of children with disabilities, dropout and graduation rates, and state grant awards. The principal source of this data is the Office of Special Education Programs’ Data Accountability Center, which produces the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 618 Data Tables. Categories of disability and program outcomes under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can be found on the Center for Parent Information and Resources website.


Table 9.1: Special Education—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, as a Percentage of Population

In the fall of 2013, there were 67,529,839 students ages 6 to 21. Of these students ages 6 to 21, 5,693,441 or 8.4 percent received special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B. Hawaii had the smallest percentage (6.3 percent), while New Jersey had the largest percentage (11.6 percent).


Table 9.2: Special Education—Children and Students Served under IDEA, Part B, by Age

Of the 6,364,555 youth ages 3 to 21 who received special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, in the fall of 2013, 729,703 (or 11.5 percent) were 3 to 5 years old; 2,568,920 (or 40.4 percent) were 6 to 11 years old; 2,713,584 (or 42.6 percent) were 12 to 17 years old; and 352,348 (or 5.5 percent) were 18 to 21 years old.


Table 9.3a: Special Education—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, by Select Diagnostic Categories
Table 9.3b: Special Education—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, by Select Diagnostic Categories
Table 9.3c: Special Education—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, by Select Diagnostic Categories
Table 9.3d: Special Education—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, by Select Diagnostic Categories

The 5,669,057 students ages 6 to 21 who received special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, in the fall of 2013 were in the following diagnostic categories: 2,188,413 (or 38.6 percent) in specific learning disability, 1,080,790 (or 19.1 percent) in speech or language impairment, 411,048 (or 7.3 percent) in intellectual disabilities 350,870 (or 6.2 percent) in emotional disturbance, 140,209 (or 2.5 percent) in multiple disabilities, 65,502 (or 1.2 percent) in hearing impairments, 49,909 (or 0.9 percent) in orthopedic impairments, 958,751 (or 16.9 percent) in other health impairments, 24,988 (or 0.4 percent) in visual impairments, 476,058 (or 8.4 percent) in autism, 1,269 (or 0.02 percent) in deaf-blindness, 25,266 (or 0.4 percent) in traumatic brain injury, and 133,698 (or 2.4 percent) in developmental delay.


Table 9.4: Special Education—Educational Environment—Students Ages 6 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, that Spent 40 Percent or More Time Inside Regular Class

Of the 5,734,393 youth ages 6 to 21 who received special education services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, in the fall of 2013, 4,655,902 (or 81.2 percent) spent 40 percent or more of their time in the regular classroom. New York had the smallest percentage (69.9 percent), while North Dakota had the largest percentage (91.9 percent).


Table 9.5: Special Education—Students Ages 14 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B, Left School, by Reason

Of the 376,452 students ages 14 to 21 who exited Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, special education services in 2011-2012, 247,596 graduated with a diploma, 53,564 received a certificate, 77,797 dropped out, and 7,058 died/aged out of service.


Table 9.6: Special Education—Graduation Rate among Students Ages 14 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B

Of the 376,452 students ages 14 to 21 who exited Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, special education services in 2011-2012 by either graduating with a diploma, receiving a certificate of completion, dropping out, dying, or aging out of service, 64.6 percent graduated with a diploma. Mississippi had the smallest percentage (27.8 percent), while Minnesota had the largest percentage (88.3 percent).


Table 9.7: Special Education—Dropout Rate among Students Ages 14 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B

Of the 378,285 students ages 14 to 21 who exited Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, special education services in 2011-2012 by either graduating with a diploma, receiving a certificate of completion, dropping out, dying, or aging out of service, 19.7 percent dropped out. Tennessee had the smallest percentage (7.3 percent), while South Carolina had the largest percentage (46.2 percent).


Table 9.8: Special Education—Change in Graduation Rate among Students Ages 14 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B

From the school year beginning in fall 2011 to the school year beginning in fall 2012, the graduation rate among students ages 14 to 21 served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, decreased by 0.5 percentage points. The graduation rate increased the most in Arizona (by 9.0 percentage points) and decreased the most in New Mexico (by 6.3 percentage points).


Table 9.9: Special Education—Change in Dropout Rate among Students Ages 14 to 21 Served under IDEA, Part B

From the school year beginning in fall 2010 to the school year beginning in fall 2011, the dropout rate among students ages 14 to 21 served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, increased by 0.4 percentage points. The dropout rate increased the most in Arizona (by 8.9 percentage points) and decreased the most in New Mexico (by 8.4 percentage points).

 


Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

Funding for this project
is made possible by:

The StatsRRTC is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, NIDILRR – Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs) Program under grant number 90RT5022-02-00, from 2013 - 2018.

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