SELPA (Special Ed)
In 1977, all school districts and county offices were mandated to form consortiums in geographical
regions of sufficient size and scope to provide for all the special education service needs for
children with disabilities residing within the region boundaries. These regions were called Special
Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA).
There are approximately 118 SELPAs in the State, ranging in size from those serving fewer than
1,000 students to those serving more than 10,000 students with the most common size between
2,000 and 4,000 students. (A few SELPAs have up to 50,000 students with disabilities, although
only five SELPAs have over 10,000).
SELPAs vary in their structure. There are single district SELPAs and SELPAs with multiple
districts, in addition to several other forms that may be developed. Each SELPA must have an
Administrative Unit (AU). The AU is the legal entity that receives funds and is responsible for
seeing that every eligible child receives appropriate services. The AU for the Calaveras County
SELPA is located at the Calaveras County Office of Education.
The SELPA policy-making body is designated in the Local Plan and makes policy decisions,
approves the guidelines for other decisions. In addition, there are usually advisory groups
that work with the Director and the governing body. The chief administrator of the SELPA is
usually called a Director.
It is the SELPA's responsibility to assure programs are available for all students with
disabilities, from birth until age 22. The SELPA must see that programs provide any needed
services for any student with an exceptional need, and to assist in inter-SELPA placements,
provide technical assistance, and administrative support for the many requirements of the
new laws and requirements being placed on districts.
The SELPA responsibility is met through a network of cooperative agreements among
districts and agencies. The SELPA Office coordinates this network and provides a focal point
for the student/family seeking information and services.
SELPA responsibilities include such things as:
- Ensuring programs/services are available for all children with disabilities
- Curriculum/Program Development
- Support Surrogate Parent Training
- Community Advisory Committee Support
- Management Information Systems
- Transition Planning
- Personnel Development
- Budget Planning and Review Evaluation
- Interagency Coordination
- Program Specialists
- Community Awareness
- Program Coordination