California’s extensive special education system is costly and complex. By giving districts greater flexibility over special education funding, the state can strengthen transparency, accountability, and local control.
This report examines California’s special education finance system in light of the principles that underlie LCFF—local control and accountability, transparency, and equity. It also draws on the findings of the 2015 Statewide Special Education Task Force report, which makes several recommendations to improve California’s system. The task force envisioned a unified system in which general and special education are part of a seamless program of student services.