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US schools fail students with disabilities

School children in classroom at lesson

Fewer than half of US states are meeting their obligations to properly serve students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education says.

In an annual review of performance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal officials foundthat just 21 states deserved the designation of “meets requirements” for the 2017-2018 school year.

The remaining states were classified as “needs assistance.”

The determination letters issued late last month are based on how well schools addressed the needs of students with disabilities ages 3 to 21.

Under IDEA, states are required to report each year to the Education Department on progress in meeting “measurable and rigorous targets” in their plans to serve students with disabilities. The secretary of education then must issue a determination letter.

For the compliance review, states are evaluated based on several factors including student performance, functional outcomes of students with disabilities and fulfilling IDEA’s procedural requirements.

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