August 3, 2009
Dear County and District Superintendents, and County and District Chief Business Officials:
In February 2008, the California Department of Education (CDE) notified all county and district superintendents of the intent of the CDE to allow such local educational agencies (LEAs) to replace manual teacher signatures with digital signatures or other electronic certification processes. The CDE was to develop parameters for a pilot program that would be available beginning in school year 2009-10.
The CDE has completed its review and believes the parameters, as described below, are sufficient to forego the pilot concept. Any LEA may now seek approval by CDE of an electronic certification process that adheres to the parameters.
In accordance with California Education Code Section 44809 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 401, the CDE is required to approve the forms and procedures that constitute LEAs attendance accounting systems. Currently, the CDE approves attendance accounting systems in which teachers manually sign and date attendance registers, depending on the type of attendance accounting system used. For online attendance accounting systems, approval is given to systems that provide for teachers signing and dating a weekly printout of attendance records entered online during the previous week.
Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, CDE approval of attendance accounting systems containing digital teacher signatures must minimally contain all the following characteristics:
Please send requests for approval of attendance accounting system electronic certification to:
Kim Clement, Education Fiscal Services Consultant
California Department of Education
School Fiscal Services Division
1430 N Street, Suite 3800
Sacramento, CA 95814
Important to note is that LEAs remain responsible for the integrity of the attendance information. It is this attendance information that is the basis for LEAs funding. It is the intent of CDE, consistent with past practice, not to approve a J-13A, Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Lost Records waiver for the failure of an electronic attendance system.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Kim Clement, Education Fiscal Services Consultant, School Fiscal Services Division, at 916-327-0857 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.