What is a SELPA?

In response to Federal laws, legislation was passed in California which provides the legal foundation for a comprehensive plan in special education and requires local districts and agencies to establish a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) in order to address the needs of all children with disabilities. Click HERE to view a video by the California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) can help explain a SELPA

Every School District in California is a member of a SELPA. Also, every Charter School is either a member of a SELPA, or is considered a school under a district that is a member. Lastly, each of the 58 County Superintendents of Schools is a member of a SELPA as well.

Therefore, districts and charters, along with the County Superintendents of Schools, are a part of one of over 130 SELPAs in the State, and are known as Member Local Educational Agencies, or SELPA Member LEAs.

More information pertaining to California Special Education can be found here:

LAO Overview of Special Education in California

California Department of Education Information on SELPAs

SELPA Administrators of California Brochure

What's the purpose of a SELPA?

The purpose of a SELPA is (1) to achieve a sufficient size and scope to effectively provide the full continuum of placement and program options called for in federal law, (2) to provide the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities, and (3) to provide a local governance system. The LAO has also produced several short videos pertaining to special education in California:

SELPAs are very similar to the concepts of each School District's Local Control Accountability Plan, only for special education and on a regional scale.

Today, as never before, parents, students and staff work together to make certain that the appropriate services are provided on an individualized basis for every child with a disability. And like the Local Control Accountability Plan and Funding Formula, the SELPA Local Plan developed and maintained in each community by the people who live there is the basis of these improvements and the foundation of services.