What is a SELPA?
In 1977, all school districts and county school offices in California were required to form geographical regions of sufficient size and scope to provide for all special education service needs of children residing within the region’s boundaries. Each region became known as a Special Education Local Plan Area – SELPA. Today, there are over 130 SELPAs in the State. The SELPA governance structures vary in form, including models for Multi-District SELPAs, Multi-District/County Office SELPAs, Single District SELPAs, Multi-District/Multi-County SELPAs, County SELPAs with Joint Powers Agreements, and Charter only SELPAs. Each SELPA has a Local Plan describing how it provides special education services. Specific components to be included in the Local Plan are delineated in the Education Code.
The SELPA fosters coordination between general and special education for prevention and early intervention of suspected disabilities. The SELPA also ensures appropriate education services for individuals with disabilities by working cooperatively with other public and private agencies to support a full complement of special education services for students. Each SELPA must have an Administrative Unit (also known as the Responsible Local Agency), which serves as the legal entity that receives funds. In some instances, the Administrative Unit is a school district and in other instances, it is the county office.
Responsibilities of SELPA
Responsibilities of the SELPA include such things as:
- Ensuring Program Availability for all Children with Disabilities
- Governance Committees, including Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
- Assistance with understanding compliance requirements
- Transition Planning
- Program Coordination
- Fiscal Management
- Staff Development
- Curriculum Development and Support
- Data Reporting to the State
- Interagency Coordination
- Program Evaluation
- Budget Planning and Review
- Community Awareness
It is the policy of the Natomas Unified School District SELPA that a free, appropriate public education is available to all children residing in the Natomas SELPA between the ages of three and 21, including students with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled. Appropriate education is that combination of educational and related service(s) as determined on an individual basis to the meet the unique needs of each individual in order to benefit from their access to educational opportunities. The Natomas SELPA is responsible for assuring that pupils have full educational opportunities.