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Specialized Secondary Programs (SSP) Law

California Education Code sections 58800-58806

58800. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to assist in the establishment of specialized high schools in the state to provide advanced instruction and training in high technology fields and in the performing arts. The Legislature recognizes that the establishment of these specialized high schools will benefit the state economy by providing opportunities to talented pupils to obtain enhanced learning opportunities in high technology fields and in the performing arts while enrolled in schools located in school districts in close proximity to areas in which these industries are located. The Legislature also recognizes that the high technology specialized high schools established under this chapter will enable the faculty providing instruction in these schools to develop model curricula of general application in the fields of mathematics, science, performing arts, and computer technology to be made available to other school districts in the public school system.

58801. Any school district operating one or more high schools, or any consortium of school districts that operate one or more high schools, or any county superintendent of schools, or any county board of education, may submit a proposal to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a school or schools with specialized curricula in high technology, performing arts, or other special curricular areas, for pupils in grades 9 through 12. School districts that submit proposals as a consortium shall agree to accept pupils from each district in the consortium at the specialized school. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall, commencing with the 1984 -85 fiscal year, allocate funds for startup costs of these specialized secondary schools or programs.

58801.5. Entities eligible for funding of startup costs pursuant to Section 58801 shall be eligible to compete for funding for startup costs regardless of funding in any prior year. Receipt of funds for additional startup costs shall be based upon the addition of new program offerings. Funds provided pursuant to this section shall supplement, and shall not supplant, funds provided pursuant to Section 58801.

58801.6. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall apportion funds as available from the annual Budget Act for support of specialized secondary programs established prior to the 1991-92 fiscal year that operate in conjunction with the California State University. Funds apportioned pursuant to this section shall be distributed equally among eligible specialized secondary schools.

58802. Faculty members providing instruction in specialized secondary programs shall develop model curricula which the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall make available to other school districts in the state.

58803. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, specialized secondary programs may select as teachers noncredentialed persons who possess unique talents or skills from business, performing arts, or postsecondary institutions. No noncredentialed person shall be retained as a teacher in a specialized secondary program unless, within 60 days after the governing board has hired such a person, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has issued a certificate of clearance for him or her, which the commission shall issue when it has verified the person's personal identification and good moral character. Each school district governing board that employs noncredentialed persons to teach in specialized secondary programs shall annually report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction the number of those persons employed, the subjects they are employed to teach, and the unique talents and skills they possess.

58804. From the funds appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes of Section 42238, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall make allocations for the purposes of this chapter to county superintendents of schools, and county boards of education, operating approved specialized secondary schools, as follows:

(a) For the 1985-86 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, in lieu of the funding calculation set forth in Section 42238, the revenue limit for each county superintendent of schools, or county board of education, operating one or more specialized secondary schools shall be calculated by multiplying the average daily attendance for the school or schools by the statewide average base revenue limit per unit of average daily attendance, for high school districts, as computed under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 42238.

(b) The school district of residence of any pupil enrolled in a specialized secondary school operated by a county superintendent of schools or county board of education shall not include the attendance of that pupil in any computation of average daily attendance for purposes of Section 42238.

58804.2. Commencing with the 1992-93 academic year, each specialized secondary school operated pursuant to Section 58801.6 shall annually evaluate the success of its program as follows:

(a) The program shall be deemed successful if it meets all of the following:

(1) Eighty percent of the pupils participating in the program pursue either postsecondary education or additional professional training in their chosen fields of study after graduation from high school.

(2) Eighty percent of the pupils that remain in the program complete their high school education.

(b) The program shall also be evaluated based on an assessment of other factors including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) Increased pupil, parent, community, professional and business community, and school employee satisfaction with pupil learning, school organization, and school governance and management.

(2) Counseling and other support services that enhance the program and the success of the pupils.

(3) Improvement in the academic performance of pupils as measured by grade point average or other appropriate standards of achievement.

58805. (a) The Superintendent of Public Instruction may enter into an interagency agreement with a consortium of two or more school districts to establish an academy of visual and performing arts to operate specialized secondary school programs in visual and performing arts that are conducted outside the regular school day, subject to this chapter.

(b) The governing boards of any two or more school districts or county offices of education may enter into the consortium described in subdivision (a). The academy established by this section shall be governed, subject to the interagency agreement provided for by subdivision (a), by a five-member governing board which shall be made up of 3 members representing the consortium who shall be superintendents or their designees of school districts or county offices of education with the largest student participation; and two members appointed by the Foundation for the Academy of Performing and Visual Arts. The authority of the board to operate the academy shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The appointment of a director to develop and administer the academy and the specialized secondary school programs operated by the academy.

(2) The execution of an agreement with any urban campus of a college or university with a means for assisting in the development of similar programs at other campuses or universities on a statewide basis, for the use of the educational resources of that campus for the purposes of this section.

(3) Responsibility over the fiscal accountability of the academy.

(c) For the purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 46300, the off-campus participation, by a pupil in any of the grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in any program of visual or performing arts operated under this section may be authorized as an independent study program in accordance with Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28. In no event shall a pupil concurrently enrolled in an independent study program and in a regular comprehensive high school or junior high school generate, for the purposes of Section 46300, more than one unit of average daily attendance per school year.

58806. A specialized secondary school operated by a county superintendent of schools under this chapter shall be considered a school district by the Superintendent of Public Instruction for purposes of receiving funds pursuant to Sections 42239 and 42239.5 of the Education Code. If a specialized secondary school counts a pupil in its summer school enrollment, the school shall notify the pupil's school district of original attendance, and that school district shall not count that pupil in its summer school enrollment.

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Questions:   Charlene Cowan |
Last Reviewed: Monday, July 25, 2022