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Reasonable Basis Mitigation Letter

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

September 19, 2013

Dear Charter School Administrators, County and District Superintendents, and County and District Chief Business Officers:


The purpose of this letter is to provide information for those charter schools that failed to meet their requested funding percentages as prescribed pursuant to state regulations. Charter schools that fail to meet a funding percentage may still qualify if it provides the California Department of Education (CDE) with a mitigating circumstances request for consideration by the State Board of Education (SBE).  

California Education Code (EC) Sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and California Code of Regulations Title 5 (5 CCR) established the criteria for the review and evaluation of determination of funding requests for nonclassroom-based charter schools. 5 CCR Section 11963.4 requires the CDE to review a charter school’s determination of funding request and to present the request to the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS). The ACCS is required to develop a recommendation on the request for consideration by the State Board of Education (SBE). The funding determination process and requirements are explained in the letter titled, Determination of Funding Requests For Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools For Fiscal Year 2013–14, which can be found at the web page.

Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11963.4(a), a nonclassroom-based charter school may qualify for 70 percent, 85 percent, or 100 percent funding, or may be denied. A charter school that fails to meet one of these funding percentages, however, may request a higher or lower funding determination if the school provides a reasonable basis to support its requested funding level. Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11963.4(e), the ACCS may find a “reasonable basis” (also referred to as mitigating circumstances) by which to make a recommendation other than one that results from the criteria specified in 5 CCR and may be viewed at the California Code of Regulations at External link opens in new window or tab. web site. This information is also included as an attachment.

In addition to the information and documents required for all determination of funding requests, a mitigating circumstances request must be submitted to the CDE and signed by an authorized representative of the charter school. A mitigating circumstances request must include the documented data regarding the individual and specific circumstances of the requesting charter school. Each mitigating circumstances request must also clearly identify the factors that are unique to that individual charter school. A charter school’s mitigating circumstances request must explain why a charter school failed to meet the 5 CCR requirements for funding, including information on the specific actions taken by the charter school to meet the expenditure requirements. Further, the Nonclassroom-based Funding Determination Form and the Mitigating Circumstances Request Form must both be filed with the CDE at the same time. The request should be well documented and clearly delineate a charter school’s individual circumstances. A charter school may be required to provide additional information in support of its mitigating circumstances request. Additionally, the deadlines for mitigating circumstances requests must also comply with the established CDE deadlines for a charter school to submit a request for a determination of funding.

5 CCR require that any determination of funding request approved by the SBE for a continuing charter school shall be prospective (not for the current year) and in increments of a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years in length. Continuing charter schools with funding determinations that expire at the end of fiscal year 2013–14 must submit a determination of funding request by February 1, 2014, for a determination of funding for fiscal year 2014–15. New charter schools in their first year of operation in fiscal year 2013–14 must submit a determination of funding request by December 1, 2013.

The forms and instructions for requesting a determination of funding are posted on the Nonclassroom-Based Instruction and Senate Bill 740 CDE web site at: Requests must be submitted by the applicable due date and mailed to:

Charter Schools Division

California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5401
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Attention: Nonclassroom-based Funding Determination

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Bill Fong, Education Fiscal Services Consultant, Charter Schools Division, by phone at 916-327-5929 or by e-mail at



Julie Russell, Division Director

Charter Schools Division





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