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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

April 3, 2013

Oregon Sees Slight Increase in Number of Students in Special Education

State releases special education report cards and child counts

(Salem, Ore) –
Today, Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton released the 2012-13 Special Education Child Count which provides details on the current number of special education students, by disability, in Oregon schools. According to the report, the number of students receiving special education services in Oregon K-12 schools is up slightly from last year, marking the 12th year of consecutive increases. Special education students currently make up 13.3% of the student population.

Also released today were the 2011-12 Report Cards for Oregon School District Special Education and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education programs. These report cards, required under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provide valuable information regarding how well local special education and early intervention programs are serving students.

“As we work to improve and redesign our education system to produce better outcomes for our students, we have to make sure we are properly identifying students for special education and then providing the best possible services and supports,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “As the number of students needing these specialized services continues to rise so too does the urgency to ensure we are providing rigorous and appropriate education with the supports and accommodations to help all students achieve their potential.”

This year, the total number of Oregon children, ages 0-21, in special education programs increased to 85,418, up from 84,683 in 2011-12. The number of special education students in our K-12 schools is 74,829, up from 74,434 last year. Special education students are supported by federal, state, and local resources.

Every Oregon child identified for special education services has at least one of the disabilities defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. A child is eligible for special education and related services if a team of professionals and the parent determines that the child has a disability (defined in the law) and needs special education services because of that disability. Click here PDF for special education counts by disability category.

The Special Education Report Cards provide information about school district and early intervention/early childhood programs including the academic achievement in math and English Language Arts of special education students, participation rates in state assessments, results of the Early Childhood Assessment, percentage of infants and toddlers with Individual Family Service Plans, and much more. Click here to access the Special Education Report Cards.

The Oregon Department of Education is in its eighth year of two statewide initiatives designed to improve student performance: Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). RTI is the practice of providing high-quality research based academic instruction to all students and delivering increasingly intensive interventions which are matched to student need. PBIS is the use of systemic behavior support systems that allow students to focus on instruction and be successful in school.

“Programs like RTI and PBIS can make a significant difference for our students,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “I am pleased to see increasing numbers of districts incorporating these proven programs into their instruction.”

Since 1975, the federal government has required that all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education and special services to meet their education needs. Special education instruction can be provided in a number of settings: regular classrooms, special classrooms, through an Education Service District, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. Click here PDF for student counts by placement type.

For an audio clip of Deputy Superintendent Saxton, go to: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/special-education-release-2013.MP3.

For more information on special education and early childhood programs in Oregon, please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=146.

Special Education and Early Childhood report cards (in English and Spanish) are online at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=1831.

For information on the Oregon State Performance Plan for Special Education, please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=1813.

Rob Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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