Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Charles


Poverty is an issue around the world that affects children and their academic achievement. In the United States 21% of children are raised in poverty. Children from poverty have a higher risk of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children and youth. Children from homes of poverty are affected by stress causing the brain to not fully develop. This thesis is a summary of academic literature on poverty and its relationship with special education which includes the placement of special education students in Minnesota, United States, and other developing countries. Special education has continued to be researched over the last 50 years including terms, stigma of special education students, 504 Act, and IDEA Act. The impact that special education placement and services can have on students in poverty can be life changing for them. Inclusive education can impact a special education student for many years by widening the academic achievement gap. The IDEA Act has set guidelines for inclusive education. The goal is to have special education students remain in general education with peers if they can be successful with modifications and accommodations. Students in a small group special education setting have a harder time furthering their education post-high school. Data supports that adults with a disability are 2.6% more likely to live in poverty than a person without a disability.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis