What percentage of students with disabilities are educated in general classrooms?
Enacted in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, mandates the provision of a free and appropriate public school education for eligible students ages 3–21.
Ninety-five percent of school-age students served under IDEA in fall 2020 were enrolled in regular schools. Three percent of students served under IDEA were enrolled in separate schools (public or private) for students with disabilities; 2 percent were placed in regular private schools;1 and less than 1 percent each were homebound or in hospitals, in separate residential facilities (public or private), or in correctional facilities. Among all school-age students served under IDEA, the percentage who spent 80 percent or more of their time in general classes in regular schools increased from 59 percent in fall 2009 to 66 percent in fall 2020.2 In contrast, during the same period, the percentage of students who spent 40 to 79 percent of the school day in general classes decreased from 21 to 17 percent, and the percentage of students who spent less than 40 percent of their time in general classes decreased from 15 to 13 percent. From 2019 to 2020, changes in the percentages of students who spent various amounts of time in general classes reflected the overall trends between 2009 and 2020.
In fall 2020, the percentage of students served under IDEA who spent 80 percent or more of the school day in general classes was highest for students with speech or language impairments (88 percent). Approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of students with specific learning disabilities (75 percent), developmental delays (69 percent), other health impairments (69 percent), and visual impairments (69 percent) spent 80 percent or more of the school day in general classes. Less than one-third of students with deaf-blindness (28 percent), intellectual disabilities (19 percent), and multiple disabilities (15 percent) spent 80 percent or more of the school day in general classes.
1 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 services at public expense.
2 For fall 2009 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 6- to 21-year-olds 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.
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Students with Disabilities. Condition of Education. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cgg.
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)