SELPAs in the Statewide System of Support


California’s Accountability and Continuous Improvement System

In 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) significantly changed how California funds, evaluates, and supports public schools. The LCFF holds LEAs accountable for improving student performance and addressing opportunity and achievement gaps. The Local Control and Accountability Plan, an integral component of the LCFF, provides a way for LEAs to plan for continuous improvement by describing goals, actions, and services for all students and across student groups.

The LCFF required the SBE to adopt “evaluation rubrics” to assist LEAs in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement. The CDE developed the California School Dashboard to publicly report performance data on the indicators the SBE included in the evaluation rubrics. Results from the Dashboard are also used to identify LEAs that require additional assistance through the Statewide System of Support.

Support for LEAs is designed to build local capacity and assist LEAs in identifying and eliminating inequities, as part of the continuous improvement process. This support includes three levels: (1) support for all; (2) individually designed, or differentiated; and (3) intensive intervention. The new system is made up of numerous support providers, and all are expected to work collaboratively with one another to provide coordinated support to LEAs. COEs have a lead role in supporting this work by serving as facilitators and capacity builders.

The CDE continues to work to make the various state and federal programs more coherent and streamlined to avoid redundancies. In addition, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) provides customized support to LEAs, including charter schools. The goal of this broad system of support is to build local capacity and to ensure LEAs are equipped to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies so that all students have the resources necessary to succeed in school.

       Infographic depicting what SELPAs do in partnership with LEAs to support students with disabilitiesSpecial Education Resource Leads in the Statewide System of Support

The 2017 Dashboard highlighted the challenge LEAs face in improving outcomes for students with disabilities. Policymakers responded to this challenge in part through an ongoing budget allocation of $10 million to develop special education resource leads. Pursuant to EC Section 52073.2, the CDE and the CCEE selected seven SELPAs to serve as special education resource leads (SELPA Leads). SELPA Leads will work with other lead agencies in the Statewide System of Support and with COEs to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. SELPA Leads will serve up to five years as either Systems Improvement Leads or Content Leads. A critical aspect of the SELPA Leads role is to facilitate learning, develop the capacity of SELPAs across the state to implement and support continuous improvement processes and connect SELPAs to resources or expertise within the statewide system of support responsive to locally identified needs.

System Improvement Leads 

The SELPA System Improvement Leads from El Dorado County SELPA, West San Gabriel Valley SELPA (2018-2023), and Riverside County SELPA, work collaboratively with the California Statewide System of Support and one another to build the capacity of SELPAs statewide. They will accomplish this goal through training and supporting the use of data best practices as well as evidence-based practices in root cause analyses, systems alignment, and coherence. These foundational processes will ground SELPAs and the LEAs they serve to ultimately improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.  Visit the System Improvement Leads website to find resources, professional learning opportunities, online learning opportunities, and to explore the Data Quality Toolkit and the Improvement Data Center, at the System Improvement Leads website.    

Content Leads  [2018-2023]

SELPA Content Leads further develop the capacity of SELPAs to support the LEAs they serve in developing and implementing evidence-based practices for students with disabilities in particular areas of need. The SELPA Content Leads are:

Resource Leads  [2023-2028]

In 2023, the California Department of Education again sought proposals for what they named "Resource Leads" to continue content-specific projects, and the following SELPAs make up :

  • East County SELPA and Santa Clara County SELPAs - IEP Technical Support and Assistance
  • El Dorado County SELPA and Riverside County SELPA (continuing) - previously called "System Improvement Leads" described above
  • Imperial County SELPA (continuing) — Best practices in English learner assessment and development of culturally and linguistically appropriate programming
  • Placer County SELPA (continuing) — Universal Design for Learning, Assistive Technology, and Augmentative Alternative Communication
  • Ventura County SELPA and Tehama County SELPA — Alternate Dispute Prevention and Resolution

SELPA System Improvement and Content/Resource Leads are important members of the statewide system of support to provide more targeted support related to special education and the education of students with disabilities.

[Source:  CDE Executive Memo to State Board of Education, March 27, 2019]