The market for state, local, and education (SLED) government contracting is one that offers opportunities in a vast number of industries – and some are growing faster than others. That’s why our recent special report 10 Hotspots in Government Contracting for 2018 highlighted some of the fastest areas of government spending growth, including educating children with special needs.

Based on data from the GovWin+Onvia platform, our analysts found that special education bids and RFPs rose by 32% in 2017 from 2016.

The way that K-12 learners are taught is in rapid flux, particularly when it comes to students in special education programs.

Matthew Lynch, The Edvocate

Agencies Finding New Ways to Innovate in Special Education

Although special education programs have been a part of public education for decades, they have been evolving rapidly in the last few years in ways that create new opportunities for vendors.

Currently 13% of all K-12 students fall into the category of students with special needs; of this group, 35% have specific learning disabilities. One statistic that is particularly concerning is that students in special education are graduating from high school at a rate 20% lower than normal – a trend that public school districts are trying to turn around. To provide more opportunities for these students to succeed, education agencies have become more innovative with technology.

There are several major areas within special education that have become more widely adopted in recent years, including:

  • Language Acquisition through Motor Planning or LAMP (improving communication for students with autism or related disorders)
  • Assistive technology (i.e. custom software and other tools to enhance learning)
  • More early detection of problems
  • More integration with regular students
  • Student-led planning (letting older students in special education participate in learning plans)
  • An increased use of technology in online learning and digital learning programs

Where Vendors Can Find Special Education Bids and RFPs

By using the GovWin+Onvia platform, the most comprehensive source of federal, state, local, and education market intelligence, we were able to identify the states that saw the biggest increase for government contracting opportunities involving educating students with special needs.

The data shows that the states of Texas and New York were found to be the top two states for special education government contracts last year. All 10 of the top states were either on the Atlantic seaboard or in the Southwest, indicating that businesses selling education-related products or services in these regions have a great opportunity to increase their government business, while serving a crucial role in the education of children with special needs at the same time.

As our research team previously found, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) played a crucial part in the rise of these bids and RFPs. EdWeek Market Brief has noted that special education ranks among the top categories of ESSA bids, along with student testing, tutoring and general academic improvement.

Full Report Highlights 10 Ways to Make an Impact in Government Contracting

Providing opportunities for students of all types to have access to a quality education is mutually beneficial to both vendors seeking education-related contracts, public agencies and the general good of society. But for vendors who don’t work in the education field, there are still plenty of other areas of government contracting in which they can make an impact. 

To find out each of the top 10 growth areas in government contracting, download our complimentary report “10 Hotspots in Government Contracting for 2018” by clicking the link below and get the market intelligence necessary to succeed in public sector sales.