The number of students in special education across Oregon continues to climb as schools struggle to meet state graduation and learning targets for them, according Oregon Department of Education data.
The state released two reports on Oregon's 84,707 kids in special education today, outlining the number of students needing specialized services and a report card detailing how well districts are meeting those needs.
The first report shows that since 2008-09, the number has risen by 2,727 kids -- a 3.3 percent growth rate, which is faster than Oregon's population growth of 2.6 percent in that period.
Much of the increase has been in autism, which continued an upward trend with an additional 1,115 students during the last three years. Conversely, students listed as intellectually disabled dropped during that time by 200 students.
By federal law, school districts are responsible for educating all children with disabilities, and the government keeps tabs on a variety of academic targets established for the students.