Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)What is a SELPA?
Since the early 1970's several important federal and state laws have inspired legislators to create legislation in California which provides the legal foundation for a comprehensive plan in special education and requires local districts and agencies to establish Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) to address the needs of all children with disabilities.
Today there are approximately 118 SELPAs in the state. The SELPA policy-making body is designated in the Local Plan and makes policy decisions, approves the guidelines for other decisions.
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. SELPA responsibilities include such things as: