New Jersey: 30% increase in SPED in U.S.

2016 New Jersey School Boards Association: Meeting a Growing Need for Special Education From kindergarten through high school, teachers nationwide are educating more students with disabilities. The number of students enrolled in special education programs is on the rise, according to numerous sources in education: Over the past decade, the number of students in the United States enrolled in special education programs has risen 30 percent, according to the National Education Association (NEA). Nearly six million students with disabilities attend public schools in the U.S., reports the Education Week Research Center. Students receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, make up roughly 9 percent of all six-to-21-year-olds. And, New Jersey has the largest percentage of students receiving these special education services, at 11.6 percent, according to the Institute on Disability.