There are several ways that the public can participate in providing written or oral input on regulations that are being amended, repealed, or added to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5.
Public comments can be received 1) in writing during an open public comment period, 2) by attending a scheduled public hearing on a particular regulation and submitting written or oral comments, or 3) by attending a State Board of Education (SBE) meeting and submitting written or oral comments on a proposed regulation that is being adopted by the SBE members.
The 45-Day and 15-Day Open Public Comment Periods
45-Day Comment Period
When the California Department of Education (CDE), SBE, or the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) amends, repeals, or adds language to a regulation, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) is filed with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and is published in the California Regulatory Notice Register (Register) (Outside Source). The Notice is also mailed to those individuals who have asked to be on the rulemaking agency's Notice mailing list1, and is posted on the CDE's Web site (regulations website).
A 45-day public comment period commences on a proposed rulemaking action when the Notice is published in the Register. The 45-day public comment period allows individuals the opportunity to submit written, faxed, or e-mailed comments on a proposed regulation to the CDE’s Regulations Coordinator. The Notice explains how to obtain access to the proposed regulation text, the Initial Statement of Reasons and who to contact if questions arise regarding the content of the regulations. The Notice also specifies the date, time, and location of a public hearing at which comments may be made on the proposed regulation orally and/or in writing.
The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) does not require that the CDE provide an oral or written return response to the commentor. However, the Final Statement of Reasons (a document submitted to the OAL in the completed rulemaking file) must demonstrate that each relevant, timely comment has been considered.
15-Day Comment Period
If substantive amendments are made to the proposed regulations at the end of the 45-day public comment period, an additional notice (i.e. 15-day notice) and the proposed modified regulations will be sent only to those individuals who 1) submitted a written comment during the 45-day public comment period or 2) attended and spoke at a scheduled public hearing. The 15-day notice advises individuals that either amendments have been made to the proposed regulations or new material (e.g., guidelines, manuals, etc.) has been relied upon in developing the regulations. The 15-day notice also advises individuals that they will have 15-days to submit comments on the proposed modifications and/or the new material that has been relied upon. The CDE also posts the 15-day Notice and the proposed amendments to the text on its Proposed Rulemaking & Regulations page.
The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may adopt an emergency regulation for notice and comment. An emergency regulation takes effect immediately. The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may adopt an emergency regulation if it can show that the regulation is necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, or if a statute deems the regulation to be an emergency for purposes of the APA.
The public may comment directly to the OAL on emergency regulations within five days after the regulation is submitted to the OAL for review, if the OAL has not taken action on the regulations before that time. The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may submit a rebuttal to any comments made on an emergency regulation up to eight days after the regulation is submitted to the OAL. The OAL has up to ten calendar days to review an emergency regulation.
You will find additional information about emergency regulations and how to comment on them at on the OAL’s Emergency Regulations Page (Outside Source). The OAL reviews emergency regulations to determine whether an emergency has been demonstrated, or deemed by statute and whether the regulation satisfies the Authority, Reference, Consistency, Clarity, Nonduplication, and Necessity standards. Once approved, an emergency regulation remains in effect for 180 days, unless the CDE, SBE, or SSPI has a special statute allowing more or less time. During the time the emergency is effective, the CDE, SBE, or SSPI must conduct the regular rulemaking process to permanently adopt the regulation. If, however, the CDE, SBE, or SSPI is unable to complete the rulemaking process within that time, the agency may request permission from the OAL to readopt the emergency regulation for another 180 days.
State Board Participation
Before the rulemaking file can be submitted to the OAL for review, the proposed regulations must be adopted by the members of the SBE. This action takes place at SBE meetings that occur every other month, beginning with the month of January. If you would like to participate in a SBE meeting and provide input on a proposed regulation that is being considered for adoption, please visit SBE's Meeting Agenda Web page. The SBE's Agenda provides instructions on how to participate in an SBE meeting.
1 If you would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive a copy of all regulation Notices, please send an email to email@example.com