What are the basic components of a special education infrastructure?

The following basic components make up the essential infrastructure an LEA must have in place for its special education system if that system is to operate effectively. Although the components are numbered for ease of reference, they are equivalent in importance. The components are:


Budget planning and monitoring processes that ensure that resources for special education are strategically allocated and managed to meet state and federal guidelines and to serve students with disabilities.


The existence of up-to-date, documented, and accessible procedures that are compliant with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), along with a robust pre-referral system, such as a multi-tiered system of support.


Processes to monitor and address personnel needs, and strategic allocation of staff with defined roles and responsibilities.

Information Systems

Accurate and consistent data sources that are accessible and monitored at the student, classroom, and school levels.

Collaboration and Communication

Norms and processes that allow for meaningful and productive interaction between special education programs and other programs, as well as between schools and families.

Structure of Instruction

Professional learning opportunities, systems, and processes for general and special education teachers and other personnel, to support high-quality Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and all students’ access to the general education curriculum.