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.