CDE - Special Education Monitoring

Special Education Monitoring

The SELPA supports LEAs in enhancing outcomes for students with disabilities, in addition to monitoring compliance through activities associated with the State Performance Plan. They support LEAs in analyzing data, identifying areas of need, and creating improvement plans aligned with CDE's Special Education Monitoring mechanisms.



The State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report

The State Performance Plan

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) monitor each state’s implementation of the IDEA. As such, each state must develop a 6-year long plan that evaluates efforts to meet the requirements of IDEA. This plan is referred to as the State Performance Plan (SPP). The plan includes 17-indicators of compliance and student performance. States must set measurable targets for these indicators (referred to as SPPI).

More information on the SPP and its indicators can be found here:

The Annual Performance Report

States must report their progress on the SPPIs to OSEP annually through an Annual Performance Report (APR). The CDE also reports local performance on the SPPIs through APRs for each Local Education Agency (LEA).

More information on the APR can be found here:




CDE’s Tiered Monitoring System


CDE utilizes a Tiered Monitoring System to support LEAs that are not meeting targets on the State Performance Plan Indicators (SPPI). This system is referred to as the Compliance and Improvement Monitoring (CIM) process. Monitoring begins at the Universal Tier, in which all LEAs have access to resources and assistance through the Statewide System of Support and the CA Special Education Technical Assistance Network. Beyond that, LEAs may enter into either Targeted or Intensive Monitoring depending on a number of factors including timeline compliance, disproportionality, and other performance factors such as graduation rate, chronic absenteeism, etc.

More information on CDE’s Tiered Monitoring System can be found here:




CDE’s Cyclical Monitoring for Small LEAs


To ensure equitable participation in Special Education Monitoring, the Cyclical Monitoring Process for Small LEAs is specifically designed for districts and charter schools that have 100 or fewer students with disabilities on census day. Unlike larger LEAs, Small LEAs will not be selected for monitoring based on State Performance Plan Indicators. Instead, they will be monitored on a cyclical basis every three years.  Monitoring activities currently include 3 comprehensive reviews including:

  • Policy and Procedure Review
  • Educational Benefit Review
  • Student Record Review

More information on CDE’s Cyclical Monitoring for Small LEAs can be found here:




CDE’s Implementation Monitoring


Per their federal monitoring obligations, CDE must collect information on the implementation of student IEPs. Therefore, CDE is rolling out a new monitoring process in the Spring of 2023, geared at gathering information around the provision of prescribed services to students with IEPs. This will require LEAs to calculate and report to CDE the ratio of services prescribed, versus provided, during a designated lookback period.






Disproportionality is a term used in special education to describe a situation where there are significant disparities in the identification, placement, or discipline of students with disabilities in comparison to their non-disabled peers, within a particular LEA. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to identify significant disproportionality in its LEAs and take action to address it. In California, this work is supported by the State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project (SPP-TAP), through a 4-phase process, by applying a cultural lens to local policy and practice.

More information on disproportionality and significant disproportionality can be found here: