The U.S. Department of Education just released its Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  It’s a good time to look at the state of school age children being served by the IDEA.  There is a lot of data in this report and I’m only going to point out a few data points that I think are interesting.  In 2018, the IDEA served over six million students ages 6 through 21; that represents approximately 9.5% of the total population of this demographic.  Keep in mind this does not include those students who have 504 Plans.  In 2009, it was 8.5%.  Those covered by the IDEA most frequently had the classification of specific learning disability (37.7%).  The next most prevalent classifications were speech or language impairment (16.4%), other health impairment (16.2%), and Autism (10.5%).

New York Numbers

In New York, the percentage of students ages 6 through 21 with IEPs increased from 9.7% in 2009 to 12.4% in 2018; an increase of 27.2%.  In Yonkers, the classification rate is about 15% and in New York City it’s 18%.  Approximately 10% of white students were classified while approximately 17% of Black and Hispanic students had IEPs.  Only about 6% of Asian students were classified.  Students with the classification of Autism increased from 4.9% to 8.9%, an 82% increase.  Those with the classification of specific learning disability decreased from 41% to 36%.

58.5% of students with IEPs spent at least 80% of the day in a regular class (the average was 64% for all states).  That number was 40% in Yonkers and about 61% in New York City.  Only 6.8% of students classified with an intellectual disability spent at least 80% of the school day in a regular class; that’s compared to an average of 17.4% for all states.

73.6% of students with IEPs took a State math assessment in 4th grade, by far the lowest of all states which averaged close to 96%.  It was even lower for 8th grade (66.2%).  In Yonkers, 89% of students with disabilities took the State math assessments in grades 3-8.  Only 73.8% of 4th graders and 66.9% of 8th graders with IEPs took their State reading assessments as compared to 95.6% and 93.8% respectively for all states.  About 89% of these students in Yonkers took the State reading assessments in grades 3-8.

74.5% of students with IEPs in New York graduated with a regular high school diploma (they met the same standards for graduation as those for students without disabilities) in 2018 (72.7% for all states), up from 52.6% in 2010.  In Yonkers, that rate is about 66%.  And the drop out rate decreased from 27.3% to 13.1% (16% for all states).  In Yonkers, it’s about 6.5%.

As I said earlier, there’s a lot in this report and I couldn’t cover all of it in one post.  If you have some time, it’s well worth checking out.

If you have any questions about this or other issues, feel free to contact me.