11 Mar Oregon Special Ed Population Continues To Grow

March 11, 2010

By: ROB MANNING
Source: OPB News

The state Department of Education report counts nearly 83,000 children under age 21 with a federally-recognized disability. That’s up slightly from last year. ? ?

Autism continues to be the fastest growing disability. There are more than 7,900 Oregon kids diagnosed with autism. That’s up nearly 25 percent over the last four years.?

?Salem-Keizer is the state’s second-biggest school district, but it has the largest population of students on the autism spectrum.

Portland is the state’s largest district overall – and it has the most disabled students overall. But Portland doesn’t have as many with autism as Salem does. ? ?Having a large population of students needing special education services has financial implications.

School districts get paid twice as much for each student needing special education as they do for students who don’t need it.

They’re also eligible for targeted federal funds. ? ?The latest numbers are part of a federally-required annual report. ?

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