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Public School Choice FAQs

Title I, Part A federal funds are used to provide public school choice (Choice) to students enrolled in California's schools identified for program improvement, corrective action or restructuring.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is Public School Choice (Choice) required in the 2016-17 school year for schools identified for program improvement (PI)?
    No. The Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and takes effect beginning in the 2017–18 school year. During the 2016–17 school year, a transition year to ESSA, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has given states the flexibility to not require local educational agencies (LEAs) to implement several ESEA provisions which include the Choice program.

    California, with the approval of the ESSA Transition Plan (DOC) by the State Board of Education (SBE) at its May 2016 meeting, has elected to not require LEAs to provide Choice for the 2016–17 school year. However, LEAs may choose to offer the program to additional eligible students enrolled in PI schools.

    Refer to FAQ #4 below regarding students that were previously transferred prior to the 2016-17 school years under the Choice program.

  2. If an LEA chooses to continue offering the Choice program in the 2016-17 school year, who are eligible to participate?
    All students enrolled in Title I schools identified for PI are eligible.

  3. If an LEA chooses to continue offering the Choice program, must the LEA notify parents that their child is eligible for Choice?
    In general, the parental notification to inform parents of the opportunity of the Choice program is no longer required. However, if an LEA chooses to offer the Choice program to additional eligible students in the 2016–17 school year, they will need to provide a notice to parents to inform them that their children have the opportunity to transfer to a non-PI school with paid transportation. See a sample parent notice template on the CDE Web site, Title I, Part A – Accountability Parental Notification Templates.

  4. How are students who previously transferred to another school under the Choice program impacted?
    LEAs must continue to allow students who previously transferred to another public school under ESEA Choice program to remain in that school until the child has completed the highest grade offered in that school during the 2016–17 school and beyond.

    LEAs will still be required to provide paid transportation to students already participating in the Choice program during the prior school years. For these students and newly transferred students in the 2016–17 school year, LEAs must set aside a reasonable amount to pay for transportation.

  5. Will an LEA that chooses to continue the Choice program in the 2016-17 school year still be required to provide transportation to students participating in the Choice Program? If so, how much?
    Yes, an LEA that chooses to continue the Choice program in the 2016-17 school year will still be required to provide paid transportation to students participating in the Choice program. LEAs must set aside a reasonable amount to pay for transportation for these students and students transferred in the prior years. The total amount of funds to provide transportation for Choice students and for alternative supports that replaced the supplemental education services during the 2016-17 school year may not exceed an amount equal to 20 percent of the LEA’s Title I, Part A allocation.
Questions:   Lana Zhou| lzhou@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0956
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Recently Posted in Accountability