How much time do students with disabilities spend in "regular" classrooms?
According to the Condition of Education reports students with disabilities are spending increasing lengths of time in regular classrooms. In the 1988-89 school year it was reported that 31% of students with disabilities spent a majority (defined as at least 80%) of their day in a regular classroom. Ten years later, during the 1998-99 school year, it was reported that 47% of students spent a majority of their day in regular classrooms. Twenty-one years later, during the 2009-2010 school year, it was reported that 59% of students spent a majority of their day in regular classrooms.
Specific percentages of time spent in regular classrooms vary according to type of disability. In 2009–10, the percentage of students who spent most of their school day in general classes was highest for students with speech or language impairments (86 percent). Sixty-three percent each of students with specific learning disabilities and of students with visual impairments spent most of their school day in general classes. In contrast, 17 percent of students with intellectual disabilities and 13 percent of students with multiple disabilities spent most of their school day in general classes.