Change Indicator

Students with disabilities in Maine

Students with disabilities

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Why This Indicator Matters

Special education and related services play an integral role in educating children with special needs  and  improving their long-term outcomes. These services are intended to improve student achievement and graduation rates, increase participation in post-secondary education and increase employment and wages.

What the data shows:
As of January 2022, there were 32,641 students enrolled in Maine public schools with an identified disability and an individualized education plan, or 19.5% of all students. This was 650 more special education students than in January 2020, when there were 31,991 students with identified disabilities.

Comparing Maine with other states for 2021-2022 school year, Maine was the state with the highest rate of school-age students (kindergarten and up) with an identified disability at 12.95%, (though Puerto Rico had a higher rate.). See Table 8 School age students served under IDEA, Part B, as a percentage of population (Note that this state-to-state comparison has as the denominator the population ages 5 -21, not the enrolled public school students.)
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Definition and Source



The number and percent students enrolled in public schools in Maine who have disabilities requiring the provision of special education services. The numerator is number of students with disabilities and the denominator is the number of students enrolled in public schools, pre-kindergarten to grade 12.


The year refers to the year in the end of the school year. 2022 is the number of students with disabilities as of January 2022 for the 2021-2022 school year. Data has been updated to use the data that Maine Department of Education has posted for prior years and current years for the number and rate of students receiving special education services and to include prekindergarten.

Last Updated

October 2023