Mildly handicapped students are provided special education services partly because of a presumed need for intensive instruction in a setting in which there is a relatively small student-teacher ratio. Yet, little is known about current policy on student-teacher ratios. Fifty state education agencies were asked for state guidelines on student-teacher ratios; 39 states provided guidelines that could be reviewed. Extreme variation was found in state recommended ratios, in how ratios are defined, and in how they are presented. Also found were significant discrepancies between ratios specified in states' guidelines and ratios reported by the U.S. Department of Education in its annual report to Congress. Implications of these findings are discussed.