Some special education programs available in the Los Angeles Unified School District include Response to Instruction and Intervention and Early Childhood Education Programs. Approximately 14 percent of the district's students participate in the special education programs.
The Response to Instruction and Intervention Program provides support to struggling students. This program seeks to offer children general-education classroom instruction that is provided by both general and special education teachers. Teachers tailor the support to an individual child's needs. Such support can take various forms, such as small group supplemental instruction. Teachers regularly assess a student's progress to ensure the program is meeting the child's needs.
The Los Angeles Unified School District offers various early childhood programs. There is a program which provides services to families with infants who have hearing loss, visual impairment or orthopedic impairment. The district also offers a program for preschool children with special needs. In this, and other special education programs, teachers and families work together to develop an Individualized Education Program to meet the specific needs of a particular child.
Critics of the district have accused it of failing to deliver effective special education programs. In 1993, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the district over this, which led to the establishment of independent oversight of the programs. In 2012, a report published by the district's Office of the Independent Monitor found various problems, including inaccurate documentation.