Capacity Builders - Facilitators - Connectors

California is in the midst of a bold educational reform effort that fundamentally changes how the state provides resources to local educational agencies (LEAs). This reform effort holds LEAs accountable for improving student performance and narrowing performance gaps among student groups. The most pronounced of the performance gaps relates to meeting the needs of California’s students with disabilities.  As the new accountability system shines a spotlight on students with disabilities, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) are positioned to leverage a well-established resource network to support LEAs in improving outcomes for students with disabilities. In response to the California Statewide Special Education Task Force calling for “one coherent system” to serve all students, the California Department of Education (CDE) initiated a “Statewide System of Support” to assist LEAs and their schools in meeting the needs of each student served, with a focus on building capacity to sustain improvement and effectively address inequities in student opportunities and outcomes.

Capacity Builders

SELPAs provide targeted technical assistance resulting in quality special education programming and increased student engagement in the least restrictive environment.  As partners in special education compliance monitoring and Differentiated Assistance processes, SELPAs utilize continuous improvement as a framework for identifying equity gaps to improve student outcomes.  SELPAs provide extensive professional development on high leverage, evidenced-based practices, and SELPAs are key collaborators on numerous statewide reform efforts.


SELPAs facilitate equity in local decision-making and access to the full continuum of supports and services in the least restrictive environment for all students with disabilities regardless of where they reside.  The leadership local governance structures facilitate ensures SELPAs equitably allocate resources and disseminate essential information.  SELPAs collaborate with LEAs to ensure alignment of statewide and local improvement efforts.  SELPAs build positive relationships among and between stakeholders by proactively providing conflict resolution services and trainings.


Our ability to connect is rooted in shared leadership, expertise, and local control.  SELPAs connect with experts across all domains associated with quality special education programs and services. SELPAs build on parent and community knowledge and engagement through their Community Advisory Committees (CAC) that serve as forums for collaboration, training, and shared leadership in program design.  SELPAs leverage interagency partnerships and resources to help districts and families access specialized supports, enhance learning opportunities, and innovate on behalf of students with disabilities.