Educational Options in Public Schools - CalEdFactsThis content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.
Educational options in California’s public education system include schools or programs of choice and schools or programs to which students are referred involuntarily. Educational options schools and programs are administered through districts, county offices of education as well as through the California Department of Education (CDE). A significant number of charter schools also serve as alternative educational options programs.
CDE services for educational options consist of (1) assisting districts and county offices of education to identify and make effective use of best practices and model schools that meet local requirements; (2) explaining legal options and rights; (3) processing requests for waivers; and (4) assisting with applications for new schools and for appropriate funding.
In 2010–11, approximately 367,000 students were enrolled in educational options. This is the number of students reported on a single day in October. However, because of the high turnover of students in some educational options, this number significantly understates the actual number of students served in a given year. Please note that enrollment for independent study was not collected for the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years.
Statewide Enrollment in Educational Options Schools and Programs:
2005–06 Through 2010–11
|Program or School||Grade Level||2005–06||2006–07||2007–08||2008–09||2009–10||2010–11|
|Continuation Schools for K–8||K–8||328||158||230||204||251||139|
|Continuation Schools for 9–12||9–12||69,273||71,205||71,309||70,733||68,869||69,371|
|Community Day Schools for K–8||K–8||2,598||2,677||2,804||2,801||2,225||1,897|
|Community Day Schools for 9–12||9–12||8,584||8,713||8,781||8,413||6,177||7,026|
|County Court & Community Schools for K–8||K–8||3,563||3,440||3,938||3,395||2,865||2,880|
|County Court & Community Schools for 9–12||9–12||26,227||27,589||29,209||27,757||25,415||24,512|
|Opportunity Education for 1–8||1–8||2,945||2,389||2,362||1,838||371||308|
|Opportunity Education for 9–12||9–12||5,352||5,177||5,825||4,908||3,033||2,401|
|Magnet Programs & Schools for K–8||K–8||127,086||83,252||93,094||95,169||96,143||120,457|
|Magnet Programs & Schools for 9–12||9–12||70,761||43,859||51,432||59,194||57,438||59,499|
|Independent Study for K–8||K–8||28,115||29,384||38,160||37,044||N/A||N/A|
|Independent Study for 9–12||9–12||79,535||84,509||92,605||91,097||N/A||N/A|
|Other Programs for K–8||K–8||9,228||30,675||7,721||19,365||26,007||27,850|
|Other Programs for 9–12||9–12||21,788||43,892||35,345||46,570||38,843||51,311|
|Grade Totals for K–8||K–8||173,863||151,975||148,309||159,816||127,862||153,531|
|Grade Totals for 9–12||9–12||281,520||284,944||294,506||308,672||199,775||214,120|
Note: School enrollment numbers were obtained from CDE’s DataQuest. These figures are based on California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and California Basic Educational Date System (CBEDS) data, reflecting the number of students enrolled on a single day in October, when data is reported each year. Because of the turnover that occurs as students transition into and out of educational options schools and programs throughout the year, the enrollment numbers in this table undercount, to an unknown but probably significant extent, the number of students actually served by these schools and programs.