DeSoto ISD Celebrates SPED Professionals

DeSoto ISD Celebrates SPED Professionals
Posted on 12/02/2021

DeSoto ISD extends great thanks to its Special Education professionals for their service and commitment to families and students with special needs. The district is committed to providing responsive and customized services to families as based on their unique needs and aspirations for their students.

A little about National Special Education Day…

National Special Education Day recognizes changes in federal legislation that led to the nation’s first federal special education law. 

Beginning in 1971, a U.S. District Court case in the District of Columbia, Mills v. Board of Education, ruled it unlawful to deny exceptional children, including those with mental and learning disabilities, publicly funded educational opportunities. Court cases like this led to the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act. President Gerald Ford signed the legislation into law on November 29th, 1975. The federal legislation required states that accept federal money to provide equal access to children with disabilities. In 1986, legislators added protections to support parents and educators in creating an education plan for children with disabilities. Then, in 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and improved access for all children with developmental delay. Through the years, the act has been enhanced to improve services and standards throughout the educational system.

Did you know…

Definition of special education

Special education encompasses the programs which serve students with mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral disabilities. The major law governing special education is the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which guarantees a “free appropriate public education” to children with disabilities and mandates that, to the “maximum extent appropriate,” they be educated with their nondisabled peers in the “least restrictive environment.” 

How many students are in special education?

In the U.S. overall, 14.4 percent of all students were special education students (ages 3-21) in 2019-20. Data from the previous year shows that the percentage varied by state from 9.8 percent in Texas to 19.5 percent in New York.

Has the number of students served in special education increased?

Yes. In the past decade, the number of students with disabilities has grown from just under 6.5 million, or 13.1 percent of all students in 2009-10, to almost 7.3 million, or 14.4 percent in 2019-20.

Inclusion statistics

A majority of special education students—64.8 percent of those ages 6-21—spend 80 percent or more of their time in regular education classes, according to 2019 data. That number has more than doubled in recent decades. In 1989, only 31.7 percent of students spent 80 percent or more of their time in regular classes.

Learning disabilities statistics

The specific learning disabilities category is the most common one covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – in 2019-20, 33 percent of students with disabilities had specific learning disabilities.

Autism statistics

Eleven percent of all students with disabilities have been diagnosed with autism alone, according to 2019-20 data.

Which disability categories have grown the most?

In the past decade, the number of students with disabilities as a percentage of total enrollment has increased a small amount, from 13.1 percent in 2009-10 to 14.4 percent in 2019-20. The mix of disabilities those students have, however, have changed dramatically.

The percent of students with disabilities who had a specific learning disability, like dyslexia, decreased from 37.5 percent to 33 percent in 2019-20. And the percent of students with disabilities with autism almost doubled, from 5.8 percent to 11 percent.
Information courtesy Education Week