classroom inclusion

The U.S. Department of Education has released its congressionally mandated annual Report on the Condition of Education. I just wanted to share some special education highlights:

  • Current Shortages: 40% of public schools hiring for open teaching positions in special education in 2020–21 reported having difficulties filling the opening, compared with 17% in 2011–12, according to the report, from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (Note: It also found that among public schools with at least one open teaching position, the percentage of schools that found it difficult or were unable to fill these positions was higher in 2020–21 than in 2011–12 across 12 reported subject areas.)
  • Future Need: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 37,600 openings for special education teachers will be needed annually between 2021–2031.
  • Growth in Children Served Under IDEA: It found that the number of students ages 3–21 served by IDEA increased from 6.4 million in the school year 2010–11 to 7.3 million in the school year 2021–22. Taken as a percentage of total public school enrollment, this equates to an increase from 13% to 15% of students.
  • Bump in Autism Numbers: Out of all those served under IDEA, 15% of students were under the Autism category in 2020-2021, compared to 13% in 2010-2011.
  • Disability Types: Among students who received special education and/or related services under IDEA in school year 2021–22, the disability types with the largest reported percentages of students were: specific learning disabilities (32%); speech or language impairments (19%); other health impairments (15%); and autism (12%).

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