Trends in LRE Placement Rates Over the Past 25 Years
The least restrictive environment (LRE) mandate suggests a preference for educating students with disabilities in general education settings provided their needs can be met there. This study examined national trends in the educational placements of students with disabilities ages 6 to 17 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1990 through 2015. Data were retrieved electronically from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau websites. Cumulative placement rates were then calculated. Findings indicate that from 1990 through 2015, (a) general education placements increased while more restrictive placements decreased, (b) students in secondary schools continued to be placed in more restrictive settings, and (c) the impact of disability categories on national LRE trends varied. Future research is needed to investigate the effect of increased identification rates in specific disability categories on national placement trends and explore how placement practices vary across schools, districts, and states.
Journal of Special Education
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Williamson, P., Hoppey, D., McLeskey, J., Bergmann, E., & Moore, H. (2020). Trends in LRE Placement Rates Over the Past 25 Years. The Journal of Special Education, 53(4), 236–244. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466919855052