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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State and Local Implementation Study 2019

Contract Information

Current Status:



September 2017 – December 2023



Contract Number:



Mathematica Policy Research
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
Walsh Taylor Inc.


Federal policy has long played a key role in educating the more than 1 in every 10 US children who are identified with a disability. But the context for those policies has been shifting. Recent court decisions, regulations, and guidance, students' increasing language diversity, and environmental and health issues like the opioid crisis are expected to influence both the extent of supports needed and the ways practitioners and officials work to meet those needs through early intervention and special education. This study will provide a national picture of IDEA implementation 15 years after the law was last updated. It will describe how states and districts have adapted their policies and practices to the changing landscape, comparing data from 2019 to data from a similar study conducted in 2009. This new information will lay the groundwork for an upcoming reauthorization of IDEA.

  • What are the state and local policies and practices related to identifying children with disabilities, promoting access to the general education curriculum and providing services?
  • What key resource decisions do states and districts make to support children with disabilities, including funding for various activities and the hiring and retention of personnel?
  • How have key policies and practices changed over time?

This implementation study is descriptive, and its results will be provided in a series of topical reports. Data collection includes surveys of state administrators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories receiving IDEA funding, as well as surveys of a nationally representative sample of 688 school districts and 2,750 schools about the 2019–20 school year.

The first report for the study is expected in 2023 and will be announced on

Key findings will be available after the study report is published.