Change Indicator

Students with disabilities in Maine

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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 2021, there were  30,503 students enrolled in Maine public schools with an identified disability and an individualized education plan. This is a lower number than the previous year of 30,503.  But since the overall public school enrollment was down in 2021 due to both demographics and lower numbers due to Covid-19, the rate of 19.4% in 2021 was the highest to date.

Comparing Maine with other states, as of 2020, Maine had the highest rate in the country of children ages 6-20 with an identified disability. See IDEA Map of percent of children with a disability
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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.


The year refers to the year in the end of the school year. 2021 is the number of students with disabilities as of January 2021 for the 2020-2021 school year. Data from 2015 & 2016 has been revised to match the Maine Department of Education data posted to their data warehouse.

The denominator is the number of students enrolled in public schools ages 6- 20 not as the national sources use, the number of all children ages 6 -21. So, children in pre-K and kindergarteners under age 6 are not counted in the denominator.

Last updated June 2022.

Last Updated

September 2021