Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

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    Purpose Parents, school personnel, and community members learning and working together produce healthy, valuable home-school partnerships. Effective school systems must devote energy and resources to informing and educating parents and community members about how to support and contribute to the efforts of their schools. The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is designed in the legislative spirit and intent to establish a local forum for active parent involvement. The California Education Code (Part 30) describes the role and responsibilities of the CAC. The CAC is appointed by and functions in an advisory capacity to the governing board of the local Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). CACs are mandated by state and federal laws and regulations that address parent involvement in Special Education. These provisions are covered briefly in "General Laws Related to Special Education," found in Appendix G. All state laws can be found in California Special Education Program: A Composite of Laws, Education Code - Part 30, Other Related Laws and California.

    What is a Community Advisory Committee (CAC)?

    Community Advisory Committees are vital components of effective Special Education programs in California. CACs have specific roles and responsibilities. Across California, many CACs are active, creative bodies that assist in advising local school districts, the Board of Education and Special Education administration about the Special Education Local Plan, annual priorities, parent education, and other Special Education related activities. Every Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) is required to establish a CAC. A SELPA is a consortium that is formed to ensure that the full continuum of Special Education services is available to all eligible students within its boundaries. It is comprised of an individual district, a group of districts, or districts and a county office(s) of education. CACs provide an important connection between the community and the SELPA. Parents comprise a majority of the CAC membership and the majority of these parents are parents of children with exceptional needs. Other members may include Special Education teachers, general education teachers, other school personnel, other parents, representatives from related public and private agencies, and school administrators. CAC members are initially selected by their peers or nominated through their district. Candidates are then approved by their local Board of Education. The general education population should also be represented on the committee. CAC members should represent not only parents concerned with the quality of Special Education but the entire special education community. As such, the CAC must act responsibly to ensure fair representation and thorough evaluation of the issues and interests handled in the attainment of its goals. A well-rounded membership that has a sound understanding of Special Education laws, issues, programs, and services that shares this information with the district, the county administration or both, as well as with the community, is the foundation upon which the CAC builds its advice and opinions. The Community Advisory Committee’s responsibilities include advising the policy and administrative entity of the district, SELPA, or county office, regarding the development, amendment, and review of the Local Plan. 

    The Local Plan describes the local policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with state laws, regulations and policies for Special Education. The CAC acts in an advisory capacity and may recommend priorities or changes to be addressed by the plan. Other responsibilities include, but need not be limited to:

    • Encouraging community and parental involvement in the development, review, and implementation of the Local Plan
    • Supporting activities on behalf of individuals with exceptional needs
    • Assisting in parent awareness of the importance of regular school attendance
    • Providing families an opportunity to share resources and support


    *Please contact Mary Perez for dates, times, and locations for the CAC meetings at:

    Special Education/SELPA Office
    1800 S. Sutter Street
    Stockton, CA  95206
    *Translation available