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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 2, 2019

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Dear County and District Superintendents and Select Charter School Administrators:

Changes to the Fall 2019 California Basic Educational Data System

The California Department of Education (CDE) is preparing for the fall 2019 California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) data collection. This letter is to inform local educational agencies (LEAs) of the changes to the upcoming fall 2019–20 CBEDS data collection.

Due to the passage of recent legislation impacting California Education Code (EC), additional reporting mandates have been imposed on the CBEDS data collection. As a result, there will be changes to all three of the CBEDS forms: the County District Information Form (CDIF), the School Information Form (SIF), and the District of Choice Supplemental (DOCS) form. In addition, in an effort to reduce the data burden on LEAs, the CDE will be reducing the amount of data collected with regard to educational calendar data. Details regarding these changes are provided below.

State Mandated Changes

New Gender Category

With the passage of Senate Bill 179, the Gender Recognition Act, Californians can now change a birth certificate and driver’s license to reflect a new, nonbinary, gender category. In order to account for this new gender option, and to meet the gender identity requirements set forth in EC Section 8310.8, the CDE is adding the nonbinary gender category to the portions of the CBEDS data collection that currently collect gender and race/ethnicity data. This will impact the collection of classified staff data (section A of the CDIF and SIF), as well as the collection of data on students participating in the District of Choice program who receive transportation services (section B of the DOCS form).

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New Collection of Sexual Orientation Information

With the passage of Assembly Bill 677, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities Reduction Act, EC Section 8310.8 requires the CDE, in the course of collecting demographic data as to the ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, to collect voluntary self-identification information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. Since the CBEDS data collection is not exempted from this requirement and since it collects ethnic data for classified staff, the CDE will be adding the collection of sexual orientation data for school and district classified staff on the SIF and CDIF respectively. Please note that this will be an aggregate count of staff who identify in each sexual orientation category; it will not be disaggregated by race/ethnicity and gender.

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Additional Changes

Changes to the Collection of Educational Calendar Data

In an effort to reduce the data burden on LEAs and only collect data that is required by state and/or federal mandates, or necessary for program and policy decision making, the CDE has determined that the collection of the specific types of year-round calendars is no longer necessary. Therefore, the CBEDS data collection will no longer require schools who operate on a year-round calendar to specify the type of calendar on which they operate (i.e., 60/20, 90/30, 60/15, or 45/15, Modified Concept, or Custom). All schools will still be asked, however, to designate whether they operate a traditional, single-track, or multitrack calendar.

Changes to the Collection of Multilingual Instructional Program Data

In order to align with the federal English language instruction educational program categories, the multilingual instructional program categories on CBEDS have been updated to include “Newcomer.” Newcomer is an instructional program designed for English learners, who are new to the country, with less than 12 months of schooling in the United States. Instruction and/or support may be provided in the students’ native language. Program models vary and may include part of a school day or full-day in a separate program or school.

CDE staff are working diligently to update key resources in order to provide LEAs with the information and tools they need to prepare for the 2019–20 CBEDS data collection. We plan to post the 2019–20 CBEDS Administrative Manual, forms, and Import File Specifications later this month. All CBEDS resources will be made available through the CDE CBEDS Web page at

We look forward to working with your LEA as you prepare for the 2019–20 CBEDS data collection. If we can be of any assistance, or should you have any questions regarding the content of this letter, please contact the CBEDS/CDS Support Office by phone at 916-324-6738 or by email at


Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division


cc: California Basic Educational Data System Coordinator

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 21, 2019

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