Oregon Special Education Enrollment Up

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EUGENE, Ore. — Special education enrollment is up in the state of Oregon, but how does Lane County fare?

The districts KEZI 9 News spoke with varied in numbers of enrollment. They said that you can’t group Lane County as a whole. Instead, you have to look at each district individually because they’re all different.

The Springfield School District actually saw a 15-percent decrease in the number of special needs students since 2008.

District administrators said it may be a result of the response through intervention program. They say it helps catch development issues earlier. But Lane County’s numbers are roughly in line with the rest of the state.

“Although there is an increase in students with disabilities across the state and for the last few years. I agree with Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton’s approach or statement in which he’s really focusing on improving the quality of instruction in the schools, both for general education and special education, as a means to decrease the number of students in special education,” said Larry Sullivan, Lane ESD Superintendent.

Sullivan says the areas where most enrollment is up is with students who have autism. He suspects that’s because special education specialists are more knowledgeable about the signs of autism.

But the Lane Education Service District did see a decrease in students with emotional disturbance. Sullivan says that could be a result of special education programs like positive behavior intervention support, which is offered in most Lane County schools.

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