2019 Annual Report to Congress on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA, Parts B and C

This is the 41st Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2019. Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as reauthorized in 2004, requires that the Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The 41st Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2019 describes our nation’s progress in:

  1. providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C,
  2. ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected,
  3. assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities, and
  4. assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.

The report focuses on the children and students with disabilities being served under IDEA, Parts C or B, nationally and at the state level.

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Since the enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA), Public Law (P.L.) 94‑142 and its successor statute, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA,or Act), the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (Secretary) and her predecessor, the Commissioner of Education at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, have been required to transmit to Congress an annual report to inform Congress and the public of the progress being made in implementing the Act. The annual reports to Congress reflect a history of persistent commitment and effort to expand educational opportunities for children with disabilities.

The most recent reauthorization of IDEA (P.L. 108-446) occurred in December 2004, and Section 664(d) of IDEA continues to require the annual report to Congress. With the reauthorization of IDEA, the nation reaffirmed its commitment to improving the early intervention and educational results and functional outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youths with disabilities (collectively, this group may be referred to in this report as “children with disabilities”).

The 41st Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20191 describes our nation’s progress in:

  1. providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B, and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C;
  2. ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected;
  3. assisting States and localities in providing IDEA services to all children with disabilities; and
  4. assessing the effectiveness of efforts to provide IDEA services to children with disabilities.

The report focuses on children with disabilities being served under IDEA, Part B and Part C, nationally and at the State level. Part B of IDEA provides funds to States to assist them in making FAPE available to eligible children ages 3 through 21 with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services, whereas Part C of IDEA provides funds to States to assist them in developing and implementing statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary interagency systems to make early intervention services available to all eligible children from birth through age 2 with disabilities and their families.2

Throughout this report, children with disabilities who receive services under IDEA, Part B, or under IDEA, Part C, are referred to as children served under IDEA, Part B; students served under IDEA, Part B; or infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C. “Special education services” is a term used throughout this report to represent services provided under IDEA, Part B. Similarly, “early intervention services” is a term used synonymously with services provided under IDEA, Part C.

This 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 follows the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018 in sequence and format, and it continues to focus on IDEA results and accountability. Similar to the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018, the 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 contains the following six major sections that address the annual report requirements contained in Section 664(d) of IDEA. The sections are

  1. a summary and analysis of IDEA Section 618 data at the national level;
  2. a summary and analysis of IDEA Section 618 data at the State level;3
  3. a summary and analysis of the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) findings and determinations regarding the extent to which States are meeting the requirements of IDEA, Part B and Part C;
  4. a summary of special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002;
  5. a summary of national special education studies and evaluations conducted under Section 664(a) and (c) of IDEA; and
  6. a summary of the extent and progress of the assessment of national activities, which focus on determining the effectiveness of IDEA and improving its implementation.

The content of this report differs from that of the 40th Annual Report to Congress, 2018 in several ways. The most recent data presented in this report represent the following applicable reporting periods: fall 2017, school year 2016–17, or a 12-month reporting period during 2016–17. Where data are presented for a 10-year period, the oldest data are associated with fall 2008. Due to changes in the Children with Disabilities [IDEA] Early Childhood and Children with Disabilities [IDEA] School Age data collection file specifications, the data collection terms limited English proficient students and LEP students have been replaced with the term English learner(s), when referring to data collected in the 2017–18 school year. When referring to data collected prior to the 2017–18 school year, the terms limited English proficient students and LEP students are still used in this report. All three terms have the same underlying meaning and have been used for the same data collection purposes.

A summary of each of the six sections and three appendices that make up the 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 follows.


Preface Footnotes

1 The year in the title reflects the U.S. Department of Education’s target year for submitting the report to Congress. The most current data in this report were collected from July 2016 through December 2017. These data have been available to the public prior to their presentation in this report. Subsequent references to this report and previously published annual reports will be abbreviated as the “XX Annual Report to Congress,” and will not include “on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

2 A State may elect to make Part C services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities beyond age 3, consistent with IDEA Sections 632(5)(B) and 635(c) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 303.211. Data on these children are included in the annual reporting requirements for Part C under IDEA Sections 616, 618, and 642.

3 Section 618 data consist of:

  1. the number of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; the settings in which they receive program services; information on the transition at age 3 out of Part C; and dispute resolution information under IDEA Part C; and
  2. the number of children and students served under IDEA, Part B; the environments in which they receive education; their participation in and performance on State assessments; information on their exiting special education services; the personnel employed to provide educational services to them; disciplinary actions that affect them; and dispute resolution information under IDEA, Part B.

Section I contains national data pertinent to Part B and Part C of IDEA. It contains four subsections. The four subsections focus on infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B; students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B; and children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. The exhibits provide information about the characteristics of infants, toddlers, children, and students receiving services under Part B and Part C; their disabilities; the settings in which they receive services; their participation in and performance on State assessments; their exits from Part B and Part C programs; their disciplinary removals; and their legal disputes. Also addressed are the characteristics of the personnel employed to provide special education and related services for the children and students. The data presented in the exhibits and discussed in the bulleted text represent the 50 States, the District of Columbia (DC), the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico herein), and the four outlying areas of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the Northern Mariana Islands herein), and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the exhibits that concern special education and related services provided under IDEA, Part B, include data for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools operated or funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the three freely associated states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Section II contains State-level data regarding Part B and Part C of IDEA. This section is organized into four subsections which focus on infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B; students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B; and children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. Each subsection addresses questions about the characteristics of infants, toddlers, children, and students receiving services under Part B and Part C; their disabilities; the settings in which they receive services; their participation in State assessments; their exits from Part B and Part C programs; their disciplinary removals; and their legal disputes. The characteristics of the personnel employed to provide special education and related services for the children and students are also addressed. The data presented in exhibits and discussed in the bulleted text represent the 50 States, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, and Puerto Rico.

Sections 616(d) and 642 of IDEA require the Secretary to make an annual determination as to the extent to which each State’s Part B and Part C programs are meeting the requirements of IDEA. To fulfill this requirement, the Secretary considers the State performance plan (SPP)/annual performance report (APR) of each State. Based on the information provided by the State in the SPP/APR, information obtained through monitoring reviews, and any other public information made available, the Secretary determines if the State meets the requirements and purposes of IDEA, needs assistance in implementing the requirements, needs intervention in implementing the requirements, or needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements. In June 2018, the Department issued the determination letters on implementation of IDEA for Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 to 60 State education agencies (SEAs) for Part B and to 56 State lead agencies for Part C. Section III presents the results of the determinations.

When Congress reauthorized IDEAin December 2004, it amended the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-279) by adding a new Part E to that Act. The new Part E established the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) as part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). NCSER began operation on July 1, 2005. As specified in Section 175(b) of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, NCSER’s mission is to—

  • Sponsor research to expand knowledge and understanding of the needs of infants, toddlers, children, and students with disabilities in order to improve the developmental, educational, and transitional results of such individuals;
  • Sponsor research to improve services provided under, and support the implementation of, IDEA [20 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1400 et seq.]; and
  • Evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of IDEA in coordination with the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

Section IV of this report describes the research projects funded by grants made during FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) by NCSER under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.

In the December 2004 reauthorization of IDEA, Congress required the Secretary to delegate to the Director of IES responsibility to carry out studies and evaluations under Section 664(a), (b), and (c) of IDEA. As specified in Section 664(a) of IDEA, IES, either directly or through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements awarded to eligible entities on a competitive basis, assesses the progress in the implementation of IDEA, including the effectiveness of State and local efforts to provide

  1. FAPE to children and students with disabilities and
  2. early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and infants and toddlers who would be at risk of having substantial developmental delays if early intervention services were not provided to them.

As specified in Section 664(c) of IDEA, IES is required to carry out a national study or studies that will inform efforts to ensure accountability for students who are held to alternate achievement standards. This section describes the studies and evaluations authorized by Section 664(a) and (c) of IDEA and supported by IES during FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018).

Under Section 664(b) of IDEA (as amended in 2004), the Secretary is responsible for carrying out a “national assessment” of activities supported by Federal funds under IDEA. As delegated by the Secretary, IES is carrying out this national assessment to

  1. determine the effectiveness of IDEA in achieving its purpose;
  2. provide timely information to the President, Congress, the States, local education agencies (LEAs), and the public on how to implement IDEA more effectively; and
  3. provide the President and Congress with information that will be useful in developing legislation to achieve the purposes of IDEA more effectively.

The national assessment is designed to address specific research questions that focus on:

  1. the implementation and impact of programs assisted under IDEA in addressing developmental and academic outcomes for children with disabilities;
  2. identification for early intervention and special education;
  3. early intervention and special education services; and
  4. early intervention and special education personnel. Studies supported in FFY 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) that contribute to the national assessment are described in Section VI.
Appendix A presents the numbers and percentages of the resident population represented by the infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, in 2017 in each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the four outlying areas (American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) and the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2017 in each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands). It also presents the number of children and students served in each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states, by race/ethnicity.
Appendix B presents information about the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 9 served under IDEA, Part B, under the category of developmental delay.4 Exhibits B-1 and B-2 provide data on the percentages of resident populations in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico represented by the children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 9 served under IDEA, Part B, who were reported under the category of developmental delay, respectively, in each year, 2008 through 2017. Exhibit B-3 identifies whether each State, the District of Columbia, BIE schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states reported any children ages 3 through 5 or any students ages 6 through 9 under the developmental delay category in 2017.

 


Appendix B Footnote

4 This descriptor and other Section 618 data descriptors in this report are italicized within exhibits, text, and notes to clarify that the reference is to a grouping of data.

Appendix C presents State-level information on the number of students who received coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) and the number and percentage of LEAs and educational service agencies (ESAs) that were required to reserve 15 percent of IDEA Sections 611 and 619 funds for comprehensive CEIS due to significant disproportionality or that voluntarily reserved up to 15 percent of IDEA Sections 611 and 619 funds for CEIS. In addition, State-level data are presented on the number and percentage of LEAs and ESAs that met the IDEA, Part B, requirements under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 300.600(a)(2) and had an increase in IDEA, Part B, Section 611 allocations and took the maintenance of effort (MOE) reduction pursuant to IDEA Section 613(a)(2)(C) in school year 2016–17.

1 The year in the title reflects the U.S. Department of Education’s target year for submitting the report to Congress. The most current data in this report were collected from July 2016 through December 2017. These data have been available to the public prior to their presentation in this report. Subsequent references to this report and previously published annual reports will be abbreviated as the “XX Annual Report to Congress,” and will not include “on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”

2 A State may elect to make Part C services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities beyond age 3, consistent with IDEA Sections 632(5)(B) and 635(c) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) § 303.211. Data on these children are included in the annual reporting requirements for Part C under IDEA Sections 616, 618, and 642.

3 Section 618 data consist of:

  1. the number of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C; the settings in which they receive program services; information on the transition at age 3 out of Part C; and dispute resolution information under IDEA Part C; and
  2. the number of children and students served under IDEA, Part B; the environments in which they receive education; their participation in and performance on State assessments; information on their exiting special education services; the personnel employed to provide educational services to them; disciplinary actions that affect them; and dispute resolution information under IDEA, Part B.

4 This descriptor and other Section 618 data descriptors in this report are italicized within exhibits, text, and notes to clarify that the reference is to a grouping of data.

Key Findings at the National Level From the 41st Annual Report to Congress on IDEA, Parts B and C. 2019

The 41st Annual Report to Congress, 2019 presents data collected from States. The report also includes information from studies, evaluations, and databases of the Institute of Education Sciences and U.S. Census Bureau. Some key findings from Section I of the report, “Summary and Analysis of IDEA Section 618 Data at the National Level” follow. To more completely understand the meaning and context for each of the findings featured below, the reader is advised to review the exhibit cited and the additional associated bulleted text.

In 2017, there were 388,694 infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C. Of those infants and toddlers, 386,155 were served in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. This number represented 3.2 percent of the birth-through-age-2 resident population in the 50 States and the District of Columbia (Exhibit 1).

  • From 2008 through 2013, the percentage of the resident population of infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, was 2.8 percent. In 2014, the percentage increased to 2.9 percent and continued to increase steadily to 3.2 percent in 2017. From 2008 through 2013, the percentage of 2-year-olds in the resident population of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C, fluctuated between 4.6 percent and 4.7 percent. In 2014, the percentage of 2‑year‑olds served increased to 4.9 percent and remained there in 2015. In 2016, the percentage of 2‑year-olds served increased to 5.2 percent and increased again to 5.4 percent in 2017. The percentage of 1-year-olds in the resident population of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C, fluctuated between 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent from 2008 through 2014. In 2015, the percentage increased to 2.8 percent and continued to increase to a high of 3 percent in 2017. From 2008 through 2014, the percentage of infants and toddlers under 1 year in the resident population served under IDEA, Part C, fluctuated between 1 and 1.1 percent. In 2015, the percentage increased to 1.2 percent and remained there through 2017 (Exhibit 2).
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and White infants and toddlers had risk ratios of 1.4 and 1.1, respectively, indicating that infants and toddlers in each of these racial/ethnic groups were more likely than those in all other racial/ethnic groups combined to be served under IDEA, Part C. American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Black or African American infants and toddlers, and infants and toddlers associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups had risk ratios of 0.9, 0.8, 0.9, and 0.8, respectively, indicating that infants and toddlers in each of these groups were less likely than those in all other racial/ethnic groups combined to be served under IDEA, Part C. Hispanic/Latino infants and toddlers, with a risk ratio of 1, were as likely to be served under Part C as the infants and toddlers of all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 3).
  • Cumulative child count data reveal Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and White infants and toddlers had risk ratios of 1.4 and 1.1, respectively, indicating that infants and toddlers in each of these racial/ethnic groups were more likely than those in all other racial/ethnic groups combined to be served under IDEA, Part C. American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Black or African American infants and toddlers, and infants and toddlers associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups had risk ratios of 0.9, 0.8, 0.9, and 0.8, respectively, indicating that infants and toddlers in each of these groups were less likely than those in all other racial/ethnic groups combined to be served under IDEA, Part C. Hispanic/Latino infants and toddlers, with a risk ratio of 1, were as likely to be served under Part C as the infants and toddlers of all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 4).
  • In 2017, of the 388,694 infants and toddlers served under Part C, 89.6 percent received their early intervention services primarily in the home. The category of community-based setting was reported as the primary early intervention setting for 7.6 percent of those served under Part C. Consequently, 97.2 percent of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C, in 2017 received their early intervention services primarily in natural environments, which are defined as the home or a community-based setting (Exhibit 5).
  • In 2017, home was the primary early intervention service setting for at least 85 percent of the infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C, in each racial/ethnic group. The largest percentage of infants and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C, who received early intervention services in a community-based setting was associated with American Indian or Alaska Native infants and toddlers (12.7 percent), while the smallest percentage served in this setting was associated with Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander infants and toddlers (5.4 percent) (Exhibit 6).
  • Of the Part C exiting statuses in 2016–17, Part B eligible, exiting Part C accounted for the largest percentage of infants and toddlers. Specifically, this category accounted for 133,837 of 353,839, or 37.8 percent, of infants and toddlers. An additional 3.8 percent of the infants and toddlers were found to be eligible for Part B but continued to receive services under Part C. No longer eligible for Part C prior to reaching age 3 was the second most prevalent category of exiting status, as it accounted for 13.1 percent of the infants and toddlers. Part B eligibility not determined and withdrawal by parent (or guardian) accounted for 11.8 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively (Exhibit 7).
  • In 2016–17, 133,837, or 60.7 percent, of the 220,568 children served under IDEA, Part C, who reached age 3 were determined to be Part B eligible, exiting Part C. An additional 6.1 percent of these children were found to be eligible for Part B but continued to receive services under Part C. Eligibility for Part B was not determined for 19 percent of the children served under IDEA, Part C, who had reached age 3. The remaining 14.3 percent of the children served under Part C who had reached age 3 exited Part C and were determined to be not eligible for Part B. The children who were not eligible for Part B included those who exited with referrals to other programs (8.3 percent) and those who exited with no referrals (6.0 percent) (Exhibit 8).
  • During 2016–17, a total of 118 written, signed complaints were received through the dispute resolution process for infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C. A report was issued for 95 (80.5 percent) of the complaints, while 23 (19.5 percent) of the complaints were withdrawn or dismissed. None of the complaints that were received during the reporting period were pending or unresolved by the end of the period (Exhibit 9).
  • A total of 59 due process complaints were received during 2016–17 through the dispute resolution process for infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C. For 52 (88.1 percent) of the due process complaints received during the reporting period, the complaint was withdrawn or dismissed. For six (10.2 percent) of the due process complaints received, a hearing was conducted, and a written legal decision was issued. A hearing was still pending as of the end of the reporting period for one complaint (1.7 percent) (Exhibit 10).
  • During 2016–17, a total of 133 mediation requests were received through the dispute resolution process for infants and toddlers birth through age 2 served under IDEA, Part C. A mediation was conducted before the end of the reporting period for 76 (57.1 percent) of the mediation requests received. The mediation that was held in eight (6.0 percent) of these cases was related to a due process complaint, while the mediation held in 68 (51.1 percent) of these cases was not related to a due process complaint. The remaining 57 (42.9 percent) of the mediation requests received during the reporting period were withdrawn, dismissed, or otherwise ended without a mediation being held. No mediation requests were still pending at the end of the reporting period (Exhibit 11).
  • In 2017, there were 773,595 children ages 3 through 5 served under Part B in the 48 States for which data were available, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states. Of these children, 760,614 were served in 48 States, the District of Columbia, and BIE schools. This number represented 6.6 percent of the resident population ages 3 through 5 (Exhibit 12).
  • In 2017, the most prevalent disability category of children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, was speech or language impairment (specifically, 328,051 of 773,595 children, or 42.4 percent). The next most common disability category was developmental delay (37.2 percent), followed by autism (10.8 percent). The children ages 3 through 5 represented by the category “Other disabilities combined” accounted for the remaining 9.7 percent of children served under IDEA, Part B (Exhibit 13).
  • In 2017, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White children ages 3 through 5 had risk ratios above 1 (i.e., 1.3, 1.2, and 1.1, respectively). This indicates that the children in each of these groups were more likely to be served under Part B than were children ages 3 through 5 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Asian, Black or African American, and Hispanic/Latino children ages 3 through 5, as well as children ages 3 through 5 associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups, with risk ratios less than 1 (i.e., 0.8, 0.9, 0.9, and 0.9, respectively), were less likely to be served under Part B than children ages 3 through 5 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 14).
  • In 2017, a total of 512,748, or 66.3 percent, of the 773,595 children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, were in a regular early childhood program for some amount of their time in school. Of the four categories representing children who attended a regular early childhood program, the category of children attending a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receiving the majority of hours of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program accounted for the largest percentage of children. Moreover, as this category accounted for 40 percent of all children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, it represented more children than any other educational environment category. A separate class accounted for 22.9 percent of children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, making it the second most prevalent educational environment. Collectively, the environments of separate school, residential facility, and home (which are represented by the category “Other environments”), accounted for 4.1 percent of the children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B. The educational environment for the remaining students, representing 6.7 percent of the children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, was a service provider location or some other location not in any other category (Exhibit 15).
  • In 2017, a regular early childhood program for some amount of the time spent in school was the educational environment for the majority of children ages 3 through 5 served under IDEA, Part B, in each racial/ethnic group. The category of children attending a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receiving the majority of hours of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program accounted for the largest percentage of children who attended a regular early childhood program for every racial/ethnic group. Moreover, for every racial/ethnic group, this category accounted for a larger percentage of the children than did any other category of educational environment. The percentages of students in the racial/ethnic groups served under the category of children attending a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receiving the majority of hours of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program ranged from 34.4 percent to 45.9 percent. The second most prevalent environment for each racial/ethnic group, except for American Indian or Alaska Native children, was a separate class. This category accounted for 33.3 percent of Asian children, 25.5 percent of Black or African American children, 25.7 percent of Hispanic/Latino children, 25 percent of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander children, 19.8 percent of White children, and 24.6 percent of children associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups. The category of children attending a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receiving the majority of hours of special education and related services in some other location was the second most prevalent environment for American Indian or Alaska Native children (23.8 percent) (Exhibit 16).
  • In 2016, a total of 30,788, or 93.2 percent, of the 33,048 full-time equivalent (FTE) special education teachers who were employed to provide special education and related services for children ages 3 through 5 under IDEA, Part B, were highly qualified (Exhibit 17).
  • In 2016, a total of 49,164, or 94.2 percent, of the 52,186 FTE special education paraprofessionals who were employed to provide special education and related services for children ages 3 through 5 under IDEA, Part B, were qualified (Exhibit 18).
  • In 2017, a total of 6,130,637 students ages 6 through 21 were served under IDEA, Part B, in the 47 States for which data were available, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states. Of these students, 6,030,548 were served in 47 States, the District of Columbia, and BIE schools. This number represented 9.2 percent of the resident population ages 6 through 21 (Exhibit 19).
  • The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2008 was 8.6 percent. Thereafter, the percentage gradually decreased, 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. The percentage continued to increase gradually to 9.2 percent in 2017. Between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of the population ages 6 through 11 served under IDEA, Part B, decreased from 11 percent to 10.6 percent, where it remained in 2011. The percentage increased to 10.7 percent in 2012 and continued to increase each year thereafter, reaching a high of 11.9 percent in 2017. The percentage of the population ages 12 through 17 served under Part B was 10.9 percent in 2008 and 2009. The percentage decreased to 10.8 percent in 2010 and remained there until it increased to 11 percent in 2014. The percentage continued to increase, reaching a high of 11.5 percent in 2017. The percentage of the population ages 18 through 21 served under Part B was 1.9 percent in 2008 and 2 percent in each year from 2009 through 2017 (Exhibit 20).
  • In 2017, the most prevalent disability category of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, was specific learning disability (specifically, 2,339,866, or 38.2 percent, of the 6,130,637 students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B). The next most common disability category was speech or language impairment (16.6 percent), followed by other health impairment (15.8 percent), autism (10.1 percent), intellectual disability (6.8 percent), and emotional disturbance (5.5 percent). Students ages 6 through 21 in “Other disabilities combined” accounted for the remaining 7.1 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B (Exhibit 21).
  • The percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under disability categories changed by two-tenths of a percentage point or less between 2008 and 2017 for all but two categories. The percentage of the population reported under autism increased by 0.5 of a percentage point. The percentage of the population reported under other health impairment also increased by 0.5 of a percentage point (Exhibit 22).
  • Between 2008 and 2016, 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 0.4 percent to 0.9 percent, where it remained in 2017. Between 2008 and 2017, 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 86.1 percent, 147.8 percent, and 163.2 percent larger in 2017 than in 2008, respectively (Exhibit 23).
  • From 2008 through 2017, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of other health impairment increased gradually from 1 percent to 1.5 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 impairment were 53.6 percent, 50.5 percent, and 54.2 percent larger in 2017 than in 2008, respectively (Exhibit 24).
  • From 2008 through 2011, the percentage of the resident population ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of specific learning disability decreased from 3.7 percent to 3.4 percent, where it remained until 2016, when the percentage increased to 3.5 percent. The percentage remained at 3.5 percent in 2017. The percentage of the population ages 6 through 11 served under IDEA, Part B, that was reported under the category of specific learning disability was 2.8 percent larger in 2017 than in 2008. However, the percentages of the populations ages 12 through 17 and 18 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, that were reported under this category were 6.9 percent and 13.1 percent smaller in 2017 than in 2008, respectively (Exhibit 25).
  • In 2017, for all disabilities, American Indian or Alaska Native students, Black or African American students, Hispanic/Latino students, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students ages 6 through 21, with risk ratios of 1.6, 1.4, 1.1, and 1.5, respectively, were more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. Asian students and White students ages 6 through 21, with risk ratios of 0.5 and 0.9, respectively, were less likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined. With a risk ratio of 1, students associated with two or more races were as likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, as were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined (Exhibit 26).
  • With a risk ratio of 4.1, American Indian or Alaska Native students ages 6 through 21 were more than four times as likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay than were 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 equal to 1 for autism and orthopedic impairment and higher than 1 for each of the other disability categories. Asian students ages 6 through 21 were 1.1 times as likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for the disability categories of autism and hearing impairment 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 equal to 1 for orthopedic impairment and less than 1 for each of the other disability categories. With a risk ratio higher than 1, Black or African American 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 for the following disability categories: autism (1.1), developmental delay (1.6), emotional disturbance (2.0), intellectual disability (2.2), multiple disabilities (1.3), other health impairment (1.4), specific learning disability (1.5), traumatic brain injury (1.1), and visual impairment (1.1). The risk ratio for Black or African American students ages 6 through 21 was less than 1 for deaf-blindness (0.9) and orthopedic impairment (0.9) and equal to 1 for hearing impairment and speech or language impairment. With a risk ratio higher than 1, Hispanic/Latino 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 for the following disability categories: hearing impairment (1.4), orthopedic impairment (1.2), specific learning disability (1.4), and speech or language impairment (1.1). The risk ratio for Hispanic/Latino students ages 6 through 21 was equal to 1 for deaf-blindness and intellectual disability and less than 1 for all other disability categories. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students ages 6 through 21 were at least two times as likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, for developmental delay (2.1), hearing impairment (2.7), and multiple disabilities (2.1) 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 higher than 1 for every other disability category as well, compared to all other racial/ethnic groups combined. With a risk ratio higher than 1, White 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 for the following disability categories: deaf-blindness (1.1), multiple disabilities (1.1), other health impairment (1.2), and traumatic brain injury (1.3). The risk ratio for White students ages 6 through 21 was equal to 1 for autism, emotional disturbance, speech or language impairment, and visual impairment and less than 1 for all other disability categories. With a risk ratio higher than 1, students ages 6 through 21 associated with two or more races were more likely to be served under IDEA, Part B, than were students ages 6 through 21 in all other racial/ethnic groups combined for the following disability categories: autism (1.1), developmental delay (1.4), emotional disturbance (1.4), and other health impairment (1.1). The risk ratio for students ages 6 through 21 associated with two or more races was equal to 1 for speech or language impairment and traumatic brain injury and less than 1 for all other disability categories (Exhibit 27).
  • For the students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2017, specific learning disability was more prevalent than any other disability category for almost every racial/ethnic group. In particular, this disability category accounted for 44.3 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native students, 23.7 percent of Asian students, 39.8 percent of Black or African American students, 45.7 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 50.2 percent of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students, 34 percent of White students, and 34 percent of students associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups. The same percentage of Asian students (23.7 percent) was reported under the disability category of speech or language impairment. Autism was the third most prevalent disability category for Asian students (23.6 percent). Other health impairment was the second most prevalent disability category for the following racial/ethnic groups: Black or African American students (15.7 percent), Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students (11.2 percent), White students (18.3 percent), and students associated with two or more racial/ethnic groups (17.6 percent). Speech or language impairment was the second most prevalent disability category for American Indian or Alaska Native students (14.2 percent) and Hispanic/Latino students (17.3 percent) (Exhibit 28).
  • In 2017, a total of 5,818,543, or 94.9 percent, of the 6,130,637 students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated in regular classrooms for at least some portion of the school day. The majority (63.5 percent) of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. Also, 18.1 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated inside the regular class 40% through 79% of the day, and 13.3 percent were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. Additionally, 5.1 percent of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were educated outside of the regular classroom in “Other environments” (Exhibit 29).
  • From 2008 through 2017, the percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day increased from 58.5 percent to 63.5 percent. The percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were educated inside the regular class 40% through 79% of the day decreased from 21.4 percent in 2008 to 18.6 percent in 2014. The percentage increased to 18.7 percent in 2015 and then decreased to 18.1 percent in 2017. The percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day decreased from 14.9 percent in 2008 to 13.3 percent in 2017. The percentage of students ages 6 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were educated in “Other environments” fluctuated between 5.1 and 5.3 percent from 2008 through 2012. The percentage dipped to a low of 5 percent in 2013. In 2014, the percentage climbed to 5.3 percent. In 2015, the percentage dropped to 5.2 percent. It dropped again to 5.1 percent in 2016, where it remained in 2017 (Exhibit 30).
  • In 2017, 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 impairment (87.2 percent) were educated inside the regular class 80% or more of the day. Less than 2 in 10 students, or 17 percent, reported under the category of intellectual disability and 13.3 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 (49.1 percent) of students reported under the category of intellectual disability and 46.1 percent of students reported under the category of multiple disabilities were educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day. In 2017, larger percentages of students reported under the categories of deaf-blindness (26.6 percent) and multiple disabilities (24.1 percent), compared to students reported under other disability categories, were educated in “Other environments” (Exhibit 31).
  • In 2017, 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, ranging from 56.2 percent to 66.5 percent. The category inside the regular class 40% through 79% of the day accounted for between 16.3 and 25.6 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group. 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 6 percent of the students within each racial/ethnic group (Exhibit 32).
  • In school year 2016–17, between 92.7 and 95.6 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school, who did not have a medical exemption, participated in a math assessment. Conversely, between 4.4 and 7.3 percent did not participate (Exhibit 33).
  • In school year 2016–17, between 92.3 and 95.6 percent of students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school, who did not have a medical exemption, participated in a reading assessment. Conversely, between 4.4 and 7.7 percent did not participate in a reading assessment (Exhibit 34).
  • In school year 2016–17, between 44 and 53.9 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 32.6 and 42.8 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. Nearly all students in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school who participated in some type of alternate assessment in math in school year 2016–17 took an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (Exhibit 35).
  • In school year 2016–17, between 40.7 and 50.7 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 with accommodations in reading. Between 35.4 and 46 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. Nearly all students in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school who participated in some type of alternate assessment in reading in school year 2016–17 took an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (Exhibit 36).
  • For school year 2016–17, of the 60 jurisdictions (i.e., the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, BIE schools, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states), non-suppressed data were available for between 48 and 51 jurisdictions that 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. The median percentages of these students who were found to be proficient with these math tests ranged from 6.5 percent to 22.9 percent. No jurisdiction administered an alternate assessment based on grade-level achievement standards for math to any students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. Therefore, medians could not be calculated. No jurisdiction administered an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards for math to any students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. Hence, medians could not be calculated. Non-suppressed data were available for between 50 and 52 jurisdictions that administered an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards for math to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. The median percentages of these students who were found to be proficient with these math tests ranged from 38.8 percent to 46.7 percent (Exhibit 37).
  • For school year 2016–17, of the 60 jurisdictions (i.e., the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, BIE schools, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states), non-suppressed data were available for between 49 and 52 jurisdictions that 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. The median percentages of these students who were found to be proficient with these reading tests ranged from 10 percent to 18.4 percent. Non-suppressed data were available for one jurisdiction that administered an alternate assessment based on grade-level achievement standards for reading to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8, and no jurisdictions administered this assessment in high school. Hence, medians could not be calculated. No jurisdiction administered an alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards for reading to any students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. Hence, medians could not be calculated. Non-suppressed data were available for between 50 and 52 jurisdictions that administered an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards for reading to some students served under IDEA, Part B, in each of grades 3 through 8 and high school. The median percentages of these students who were found to be proficient with these reading tests ranged from 42.7 percent to 51 percent (Exhibit 38).
  • 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 2016–17 (specifically, 278,704, or 45.7 percent, of the 609,366 such students). This was followed by moved, known to be continuing in education (24.9 percent) and dropped out (11.1 percent) (Exhibit 39).
  • In 2016–17, a total of 70.5 percent of the students ages 14 through 21 who exited IDEA, Part B, and school graduated with a regular high school diploma, while 17.1 percent dropped out. The percentage of students who exited special education and school by having graduated with a regular high school diploma increased from 59 percent in 2007–08 to 70.5 percent in 2016–17. From 2007–08 through 2016–17, the percentage of students who exited special education and school by having dropped out generally decreased from 24.6 percent to 17.1 percent (Exhibit 40).
  • In comparison to school year 2007–08, the graduation percentage in 2016–17 increased for students who exited IDEA, Part B, and school in all disability categories except deaf-blindness, which accounted for fewer than 200 students in each year. The graduation percentage increased by at least 5 percentage points for each disability category except intellectual disability (4.7 percentage points), multiple disabilities (0.1 percentage points), orthopedic impairment (1.6 percentage points), and visual impairment (3.4 percentage points). From 2007–08 through 2014–15, the disability category with the largest graduation percentage was visual impairment. In 2015–16 and 2016–17, the disability category of speech or language impairment was associated with the largest graduation percentage. The students reported under the category of intellectual disability had the smallest graduation percentage from 2007–08 through 2016–17 (Exhibit 41).
  • The dropout percentage was lower in school year 2016–17 than in 2007–08 for students who exited IDEA, Part B, and school in all disability categories. The dropout percentage decreases were less than 10 percentage points in each disability category. In each year from 2007–08 through 2016–17, a larger percentage of the students reported under the category of emotional disturbance exited special education and school by dropping out than for any other reason. In each year, the dropout percentage was no less than 30 percent, which was larger than the dropout percentage for any other disability category (Exhibit 42).
  • In 2016, a total of 314,051, or 91.9 percent, of the 341,695 full-time equivalent (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 43).
  • In 2016, a total of 409,386, or 93.9 percent, of the 435,817 FTE special education paraprofessionals who provided special education and related services for students ages 6 through 21 under IDEA, Part B, were qualified (Exhibit 44).
  • In 2016, a total of 96.5 percent of all full-time equivalent (FTE) personnel who were employed to provide related services for children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, were fully certified. More than 95 percent of FTE related services personnel in 8 of the 11 categories were fully certified. The three exceptions were physical therapists (93.5 percent), occupational therapists (92.2 percent), and interpreters (87.2 percent) (Exhibit 45).
  • During the 2016–17 school year, 8,077 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B,in the jurisdictions for which data were available experienced a unilateral removal to an interim alternative educational setting by school personnel (not the IEP [individualized education program] team) for drugs, weapons, or serious bodily injury. Given that 6,455,891 children and students ages 3 through 21 were served under Part B in 2016, in the States for which data were available, this type of action occurred with 13 children and students for every 10,000 children and students who were served under Part B in 2016. A total of 366 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA,Part B,or 1 for every 10,000 children and students served in the jurisdictions for which data were available, experienced a removal to an interim alternative educational setting based on a hearing officer determination regarding likely injury in school year 2016–17. There were 47,728 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B,or 71 for every 10,000 children and students served in the jurisdictions for which data were available, who received out-of-school suspensions or expulsions for more than 10 cumulative days in school year 2016–17. There were 22,049 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B,or 33 for every 10,000 children and students served in the jurisdictions for which data were available, who received in-school suspensions for more than 10 cumulative days in school year 2016–17 (Exhibit 46).
  • For every 10,000 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were reported under the category of emotional disturbance in 2016, there were 43 children and students unilaterally removed to an interim alternative educational setting by school personnel (not the IEP team) for drugs, weapons, or serious bodily injury during school year 2016–17. The ratio for the children and students reported under each of the other disability categories was 21 or less per 10,000 children and students served. Without regard for disability category, for every 10,000 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, in 2016, no more than three children and students were removed by a hearing officer for likely injury during school year 2016–17. For every 10,000 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were reported under the category of emotional disturbance in 2016, there were 340 children and students who received out-of-school suspensions or expulsions for more than 10 cumulative days during school year 2016–17. The ratio for the children and students reported under each of the other disability categories was 131 or less per 10,000 children and students served. For every 10,000 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B, who were reported under the category of emotional disturbance in 2016, there were 104 children and students who received in-school suspensions for more than 10 cumulative days during school year 2016–17. The ratio for the children and students reported under each of the other disability categories was 64 or less per 10,000 children and students served (Exhibit 47).
  • During 2016–17, a total of 5,239 written, signed complaints were received through the dispute resolution process for children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. A report was issued for 3,504 (66.9 percent) of the complaints, while 1,619 (30.9 percent) of the complaints were withdrawn or dismissed. A total of 116 (2.2 percent) of the complaints that were received during the 2016–17 reporting period were pending or unresolved by the end of the period (Exhibit 48).
  • A total of 18,490 due process complaints were received during 2016–17 through the dispute resolution process for children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. For 11,854 (64.1 percent) of the due process complaints received during the 2016–17 reporting period, a resolution was achieved without a hearing. For 2,119 (11.5 percent) of the due process complaints received, a hearing was conducted, and a written legal decision was issued. For 4,517 (24.4 percent) of the due process complaints received, a resolution was still pending at the end of the reporting period (Exhibit 49).
  • During 2016–17, a total of 11,413 mediation requests were received through the dispute resolution process for children and students ages 3 through 21 served under IDEA, Part B. For 4,012 (35.2 percent) of the mediation requests received, a mediation related to a due process complaint was conducted. For 2,798 (24.5 percent) of the mediation requests received, a mediation that was not related to a due process complaint was conducted. For 1,105 requests (9.7 percent), a mediation session was still pending as of the end of the 2016–17 reporting period. The remaining 3,498 mediation requests (30.6 percent) were withdrawn or otherwise not held by the end of the reporting period (Exhibit 50).
  • A total of 99,272, or 1.4 percent, of the 6,904,232 children and students ages 3 through 21 served under Part B in 2017 by 46 States, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, Puerto Rico, the four outlying areas, and the three freely associated states received coordinated early intervening services (CEIS) in school year(s) 2014–15, 2015–16, or 2016–17 prior to being served under Part B (Exhibit 51).
Discipline, Severe Discrepancy, Severe Discrepancy, Severe Discrepancy, Screening
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Last modified on February 18, 2020