Number of Special Needs Students in Oregon is (still) Increasing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Number of Special Needs Students in Oregon is (still) Increasing

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PORTLAND, Ore.,  - The number of Oregon students in special education has increased for the 12th consecutive year.

Statistics released Wednesday by the state Department of Education show that more than 85,000 kids are in special education programs - 13.3 percent of the overall student population.  That's an increase of 735 students from last year and nearly 3,500 since 2008-09.

The state provided the figures in a report to the federal government to show how it is complying with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  A child is eligible for special education if parents and professionals determine the child has a disability.

Autism remains one of the fastest-growing disabilities, increasing from 317 students with the diagnosis in 1990-91 to 2,650 students in 2000-01 and to almost 9,000 this school year.

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