A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) could prompt changes to the way special education has been funded in the state for almost 40 years. The researchers at PPIC recommend that the state should send the billions of dollars allocated for special education directly to school districts instead of Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs), as has been done for the past four decades.
According to PPIC, the current model has resulted in inequitable and inadequate funding, disparities in the availability and quality of special education programs and services available across the state, and poor accountability. The funding is based on the SELPA members’ total average daily attendance and not the percentage of students who require special education or the type of programs and services provided by the SELPA. The report suggests the current lack of SELPA level accountability could be solved by holding individual districts accountable for goals related to their special education programs and services, and students in them, through their Local Control and Accountability Plans.
DWK has experience representing school districts and SELPAs in resolving concerns raised in this report. Please contact an attorney in our Students & Special Education Group if you should have any questions about the report.