Pennsylvania: 18% of rural students are SPED

June 14, 2017, PA Trib Live: Pennsylvania's rural students missing out on some opportunities, report suggests Nearly 50,000, or about 17.5 percent, of those students are enrolled in special education services. That's the second-highest percentage in the nation; the national average is 13.4 percent. Massachusetts enrolls 17.8 percent of its rural student population in special education services, while Oklahoma and Rhode Island enroll slightly smaller percentages.