Reminder: SELPA Membership Application Deadlines for 2015-16 are Quickly Approaching

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January 8, 2015 Under California law, charter schools have two options for special education: operating as part of a Local Education Agency (LEA) or as an independent LEA for special education. By default, all charter schools operate as schools of their authorizing LEA (or "schools of the district") and participate in the SELPA in which their authorizer is a member. LEA status and responsibility to provide special education services to students in the charter school remains with the district unless agreed to otherwise.

As an independent LEA, however, the charter school assumes full responsibility for special education. The charter school is also provided with state and federal revenue to support the delivery of special education services as well as an opportunity to participate in SELPA governance.

When schools determine that they are ready to take on the full responsibility and autonomy for serving students with disabilities, the next step is to seek LEA status for special education.

The following is a timeline for becoming an LEA for special education:

  1. Assess your readiness to become an LEA with a Special Education Self-Assessment Checklist;
  2. Notify your current SELPA and the California Department of Education on intended exit at least one year prior to operating as an LEA for special education purposes;
  3. Ensure that agreements with your authorizer are conducive to membership in a new SELPA;
  4. Develop programmatic capacity and infrastructure necessary to serve all students;
  5. Weigh the different SELPA options according to the needs of your school and students; and
  6. Apply to the SELPA (s) that best meet those needs.

A complete timeline for becoming an LEA for special education can be found here.

If you are ready to submit your membership application to the SELPA that best meets the needs of your school and your students, don't miss the deadline and submit your application today.

Currently there are 125 SELPAs in California, and schools are encouraged to apply to their local SELPA. If you are interested in their membership application or if you have any questions in regards to their upcoming deadline, please contact them directly. In addition to the local SELPA options, there are 4 charter-only SELPAs that are accepting members statewide.

Below are the upcoming deadlines for applying to the charter SELPAs:

If you have any questions or would like guidance on your SELPA membership application, please contact Kate Dove, Special Education Advisor.