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Students with disabilities, inclusion of

What percentage of students with disabilities are educated in general classrooms?


Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates the provision of a free and appropriate public school education for eligible students ages 3–21.

Of the school-age students served under IDEA in fall 2022,1,2

Students served under IDEA who attended regular schools spent different percentages of time during the school day in general classes, and these percentages changed over time. Between fall 2012 and fall 2022,4 among all school-age students served under IDEA, the percentage who were in regular schools and spent various amounts of time in general classes changed as follows:

In fall 2022, more than two-thirds of students served under IDEA with the following disabilities5 spent 80 percent or more of their time during the school day in general classes:

Less than one-third of students with the following disabilities spent 80 percent or more of their time during the school day in general classes:

1 Data throughout this Fast Fact represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia unless otherwise noted.
2 Totals presented in this indicator include imputations for states for which data were unavailable. See Related Tables in the Digest of Education Statistics for more information.
3 Refers to students who are enrolled by their parents or guardians in regular private schools and have their basic education paid for through private resources but receive special education and/or related services at public expense.
4 For fall 2012 through fall 2018, school-age students include students ages 6–21. Due to changes in reporting requirements in the fall 2019 data collection, the number of school-age students served may include some 5-year-olds enrolled in kindergarten in that year. Starting in the fall 2020 data collection, school-age students include 6- to 21-year-olds and 5-year-olds enrolled in kindergarten.
5 Disability type refers to the specific disability for which a child is receiving services under IDEA. If a child has multiple types of disabilities but is receiving services under IDEA for only one type of disability, then the child is categorized under that specific disability. If a child is receiving services for more than one type of IDEA-defined disability, then the child is categorized under “multiple disabilities.”
6 Speech or language impairment is defined as a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Please see title 34 for more information.
7 A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Please see title 34 for more information.
8 Other health impairments include having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes. Please see title 34 for more information.
9 Although federal law does not require that states/entities and local education agencies categorize students according to developmental delay, if this category is required by state law, they are expected to report these students in the developmental delay category.

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics. (2024). Students with Disabilities. Condition of Education. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from

Numbers in figure titles reflect original numeration from source Condition of Education indicators.

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)