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USCO Provisions & Definition

Provisions and definition of the Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO) of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Unsafe School Choice Option Provisions

The Unsafe School Choice Option in Title IX, Part E, Subpart 2, Section 9532 sets forth the following provisions:

  1. UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTION. Each State receiving funds under this Act shall establish and implement a statewide policy requiring that a student attending a persistently dangerous public elementary school or secondary school, as determined by the State in consultation with a representative sample of local educational agencies, or who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by State law, while in or on the grounds of a public elementary school or secondary school that the student attends, be allowed to attend a safe public elementary school or secondary school within the local educational agency, including a public charter school.
  2. CERTIFICATION. As a condition of receiving funds under this Act, a State shall certify in writing to the Secretary that the State is in compliance with this section.

Definition of "Persistently Dangerous" Schools

In April 2002, the California Department of Education convened an advisory committee that included representatives from approximately 20 educational agencies, both large and small, from around the state; this committee helped develop California's statewide policy definition for designating "persistently dangerous" schools. The California State Board of Education adopted the definition in May 2002.

  1. A California public elementary or secondary school is "persistently dangerous" if, in each of three consecutive fiscal years, one of the following criteria has been met:
    1. For a school of fewer than 300 enrolled students, the number of incidents of firearm violations committed by non-students on school grounds during school hours or during a school-sponsored activity, plus the number of student expulsions for any of the violations delineated below is greater than three.
    2. For a larger school, the number of incidents of firearm violations committed by non-students on school grounds during school hours or during a school-sponsored activity, plus the number of student expulsions for any of the violations delineated below is greater than one per 100 enrolled students or a fraction thereof.
  2. Applicable violations include:
    1. Assault or battery upon a school employee (Education Code section 48915(a)(5));
    2. Brandishing a knife (Education Code section 48915(c)(2));
    3. Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense (Education Code section 48915(a)(1));
    4. Hate violence (Education Code section 48900.3);
    5. Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm (Education Code section 48915(c)(1));
    6. Possession of an explosive (Education Code section 48915(c)(5));
    7. Robbery or extortion (Education Code section 48915(a)(4));
    8. Selling a controlled substance (Education Code section 48915(c)(3)); and
    9. Sexual assault or sexual battery (Education Code section 48915(c)(4)).
  3. In instances where a student committed a violation enumerated in subsection (B) for which expulsion proceedings would have been instituted, but is no longer a student and therefore cannot be expelled, that violation must be reported in the total number of incidents and expulsions referenced in subsection (A).
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Questions: Stephanie Papas | spapas@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8441 
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