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SBE Instructional Time Penalty Waiver

The State Board of Education (SBE) Instructional Time Penalty Waivers web page provides information on the instructional time audit findings, instructional time waiver process, and instructional time waivers.

As a condition of apportionment, local educational agencies (LEAs) must meet the instructional time requirements required pursuant to both Education Code (EC) 46207 External link opens in new window or tab. (instructional minutes) and EC 46208 External link opens in new window or tab. (instructional days). Charter schools must meet the instructional minute requirements required pursuant to EC 47612.5 External link opens in new window or tab.. See the Instructional Time Requirements web page for additional information.

Resolution Options for Unmet Instructional Time Requirements

The LEA has the following options if the instructional time requirements are not met:

Instructional Time Resolution Options
  • Option 1: Pay the penalty through the offset process through the Principal Apportionment by including a response to the California Department of Education (CDE) management decision letter to initiate the penalty payment.
  • Option 2: File a summary review or formal appeal with the Education Audit Appeals Panel (EAAP). See the CDE Audit Resolution web page for an overview of the EAAP summary review and formal appeal process or visit the Appeals section of the EAAP website External link opens in new window or tab..
  • Option 3: Request a SBE waiver of the fiscal penalty.

Penalties are collected via an offset process through funding received by the LEA from the Principal Apportionment in February or June. If the LEA chooses not to file for a summary review or formal appeal with EAAP, or file for an SBE Waiver, the offset would be scheduled at the next Principal Apportionment certification after the State Controller’s Office (SCO) certification of the K-12 LEA financial and compliance annual audit (annual audit) report.

SBE instructional time waivers allow the fiscal penalty related to an instructional day or minute shortage to be waived provided a school district or charter school complies with specific conditions outlined in EC 46206 External link opens in new window or tab. and EC 47612.6 External link opens in new window or tab..

Instructional Time Waiver Process
  • Step 1: Auditors will verify if the school districts and charter schools met the instructional time requirements during the annual audit.
  • Step 2: Auditors calculate the penalty if a school district or charter school was out of compliance for either the day or minute requirement. Each instance of noncompliance carries its own fiscal penalty so it’s possible for a school district to receive both a day and minute penalty. Charter schools will not receive instructional day penalties, instead a charter school’s apportionment will be proportionately reduced by the number of days the charter school failed to offer. A penalty will only apply to an instructional minute shortage for a charter school.
  • Step 3: LEAs should work with their auditor to determine the potential penalty.
  • Step 4: Submit a request for an instructional time waiver through the online waiver portal. The annual audit report does not need to be certified by the SCO prior to requesting an instructional time waiver. Further, the teachers union will also need to agree to the additional time. Information from the meeting with the teachers union will be requested as part of the waiver submission. The contact listed in the waiver submission should be the person who will be responsible for tracking the waiver process and ensuring any necessary revisions are completed timely.
  • Step 5: CDE waiver office processes the waiver.
  • Step 6: Waiver is assigned to the CDE’s Categorical Allocations and Audit Resolutions Office for review. If there are additional questions or revisions needed, the district or charter school will be notified and should make necessary revisions as soon as possible to meet SBE deadlines.
  • Step 7: Waivers are placed on the SBE calendar a few months out and there are specific deadlines for submission.

The CDE instructional time penalty calculator tool can be found on the Penalty Calculators: Estimating the Cost of an Audit Finding web page.   

For questions specific to accessing or submitting information through the online waiver portal please contact the Waiver Office at Waiver@cde.ca.gov.

Instructional Time Waiver Eligibility

To receive an instructional time waiver of the financial penalty from the SBE, the school(s) with instructional time shortage(s) must offer the number of days and/or minutes they were short, in addition to the number of days and minutes required, for two consecutive school years.

Example:  The following table provides an example of the additional time a district or charter school would be required to provide to meet the condition of an instructional time waiver.

Instructional Time Shortage Examples
Affected Grade Level/Site Time Requirement Time Shortage Time Requirement for Penalty Waiver Action
Grade 1
School Site A
50,400 minutes (min) 500 min 50,400 min + 500 min = 50,900 min The district or charter school would be required to offer the total 50,900 minutes required for grade 1 for two consecutive years at the affected school site.
School District A 180 days 1 day 180 days + 1 day = 181 days

The school district would be required to offer 181 days for two consecutive years at the affected school(s).

The additional time required must also be documented in the annual audit report for the school district or charter school that receives an instructional time waiver for the two years in which the additional time is offered.

If the school district or charter school receives an instructional time waiver and meets the conditions of the waiver, then the penalty is waived. Failure to meet the terms of the SBE waiver will result in an offset to the Principal Apportionment for the full amount of the instructional time financial penalty per EC 46206 External link opens in new window or tab..

Instructional Time Waiver Documentation Required

The waiver request must include documentation supporting the additional time being offered at the district or charter school. This would include:

  • School calendars
  • Bell schedules
  • Instructional time calculations

Documentation is required for each year in which the additional time will be offered and for each affected school site in which time will be made up.

If one school calendar will be used district-wide, then only one school calendar needs to be submitted. Bell schedules are only required for the schools in which additional time will be offered. If affected schools will be following the same bell schedules, then only one bell schedule for each type of school must be submitted. However, if shortages occurred at multiple school sites and those school sites follow different bell schedules, then a bell schedule from each school site must be submitted. Bell schedules must include each type of school day (regular day, minimum day, etc.) that is offered as well. All alternative days should be clearly identified on the school calendar.

For more information and resources about SBE Waivers, visit the Waivers web page. For questions specific to accessing or submitting information through the online waiver portal, contact the Waiver Office at Waiver@cde.ca.gov.

Instructional time penalties are specific waiver requests. For more information on instructional time waivers, visit the Specific Waiver web page.

Questions:   Audit Resolution Staff | LEAAudits@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 28, 2024
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