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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
September 10, 2021

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area Directors:

2021–22 Data Collections: Annual Back-to-School Letter

This letter kicks off the 2021–22 data collection season for the following California Department of Education (CDE) data systems:

  • California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)
  • California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS)
  • Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS)

The 2021–22 certification and amendment window deadlines for these data collections are posted on CDE’s CALPADS, CBEDS, and CARS Submission Calendar web page at [Note: The preceding link is no longer valid. Users should visit the individual web pages for specific data collections for data submission information.]

It should also be noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has only heightened the need for timely, quality data, from all state agencies, including the CDE. Governor Newsom’s vision of integrating existing data into a cradle-to-career longitudinal data system that will provide the data the state needs to effectively meet the needs of its citizens was authorized in postsecondary budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 132 (Chapter 144, Statutes of 2021). The CDE will keep local educational agencies (LEAs) up-do-date on this significant data integration project and how it will benefit the public pre-K to grade 12 community.


CALPADS data are used for many functions critical to the mission of LEAs and the state. Therefore, the active involvement of superintendents, charter school administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) directors is critical to ensuring the accurate and timely submission of CALPADS data. LEA executive leadership should continue to ensure that policies, processes, adequate staff support, and timelines are in place that foster staff collaboration, resulting in ongoing CALPADS updates and the review and certification of submissions by the published deadlines.

Pursuant to existing law, the CDE is required to develop indicators for the California School Dashboard in December 2022. These indicators will be based on data that LEAs submit during the 2021−22 school year and certify as part of the End-of-Year (EOY) CALPADS submissions.

To accommodate changes to Independent Study statute enacted in the K–12 budget trailer bill, AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021), the CDE will be adding one new field to the collection of data used to determine chronic absenteeism, that will identify student attendance in both traditional and course-based independent study. This will enable the CDE to meet the statutory requirement of reporting counts of students participating in 15 days or more in an independent study program during the school year. The CDE has already engaged in discussions with LEAs and the student information system (SIS) vendors on this change. Regarding other questions related to independent study, the CDE has posted a comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which have been updated to reflect the changes made by AB 130. This document can be found on the CDE’s Frequently Asked Questions page pertaining to independent study:

Fall Submission Reminders

For the upcoming Fall 1 and Fall 2 submissions, LEAs are reminded of the important existing uses of these data:

  • The data that LEAs certify on CALPADS Report 1.17 – FRPM/English Learner/FosterCount in the Fall 1 submission is used as the basis for determining the unduplicated pupil percentage (UPP) which determines 2021–22 Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) supplemental and concentration grant funding. LEAs are reminded that new students must be tested with the Initial ELPAC at least two days before October 6, 2021 in order for their English Language Acquisition Status of English Learner to be included in the Unduplicated Pupil Count.
  • The data that LEAs certify as part of the Fall 2 submission are provided to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to populate the California State Assignment Accountability System (CalSAAS), and are used to identify potential certificated staff mis-assignments. Accurate Fall 2 data will reduce the number of potential mis-assignments that LEAs must resolve in CalSAAS.

In addition, AB 132 specifies that 2021−22 Census Day data shall be used to identify students eligible for a college savings account under the California Kids Investment and Development Savings (CalKIDS) program. Students certified as part of the Unduplicated Pupil Count in Fall 1 will be eligible for a CalKIDS account.

New Funding Allocations Based on 2020−21 Certified CALPADS Data

Assembly Bill 130 also authorized various new programs, some of which will use 2020−21 certified CALPADS data to determine funding allocations. While these data can no longer be changed, LEAs may find it helpful to understand the CALPADS data that will be used as the basis for these new apportionments. This use of previously certified data also highlights the importance of always ensuring the accuracy of CALPADS data. The major new programs include the following: 

  • Educator Effectiveness Block Grant: AB 130 appropriates $1.5 billion for the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant, (Education Code Section 41480), which will be apportioned to county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, and the state special schools in an equal amount per full-time equivalent (FTE) certificated staff and classified staff as certified in CALPADS and CBEDS in 2020−21. The FTE cannot exceed the total certificated staff and classified staff counts in the 2020−21 fiscal year.
  • A-G Completion Improvement Grant Program: AB 130 appropriates $547.5 million for the A-G Completion Improvement Grant Program (Education Code Section 41590), which provides funding to LEAs to help increase the number of students, particularly disadvantaged students, who graduate from high school with A-G eligibility. Funds will be apportioned based on the data used to calculate the Unduplicated Pupil Percentage (UPP) that LEAs certified as part of the 2020−21 Fall 1 submission, and the A-G completion rates determined from the 2020−21 four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) data.
  • Expanded Learning Opportunities Program: AB 130 establishes the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program which apportions funding based on each LEA’s prior year Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten-thru 6th grade (TK/K-6) classroom-based average daily attendance, and prior year UPP. The prior year UPP is based on data LEAs certified as part of their 2020−21 Fall 1 submission.

CALPADS 2021–22 Submission Deadlines

In response to an overall desire by state policy makers, local educational leaders and administrators, education advocates, and the public to have access to current data to enhance decision-making, the 2021–22 certification deadlines will remain similar to past years. LEAs are reminded that the certification of the Fall 1, EOY 3, and EOY 4 submissions require SELPAs to approve specified reports in the submission that include data related to students with disabilities (SWD). Therefore, the CDE also suggests dates by which LEAs approve submissions in order to provide SELPAs time to review and approve submissions by the deadlines. The 2021–22 CALPADS deadlines are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: 2021–22 CALPADS Submission Deadlines

Submission Suggested LEA Approval Deadline Certification Deadline Amendment Window Deadline
Fall 1 November 24, 2021 December 17, 2021 January 28, 2022
Fall 2 February 18, 2022* N/A March 4, 2022
EOY 1, 2 N/A July 29, 2022 August 26, 2022
EOY 3, 4 July 11, 2022 July 29, 2022 August 26, 2022

*SELPAs do not approve the Fall 2 submission; however, since there is no Certification Deadline for Fall 2 prior to the close of the amendment window, this suggested LEA approval deadline provides an interim target that will help ensure that LEAs are able to certify by the close of the amendment window.

Importance of Maintaining CALPADS Data on an Ongoing Basis

In addition to reviewing and certifying data during the Fall and EOY submissions, it is critical that LEA business processes include updating CALPADS on an ongoing basis throughout the year. These data are maintained in the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) and are used for multiple operational purposes that support LEAs and their ability to serve students, including:

  • Registering students for statewide assessments, including the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).
  • Identifying whether students are English Learners (EL) or Initial Fluent English Proficient (IFEP). Student EL and IFEP statuses are now determined automatically based on student performance on the (online) Initial ELPAC, and are then made available to LEAs through CALPADS.
  • To provide immediate information on incoming transfer students, such as whether they are English learners or students with disabilities, so that they can be served appropriately.
  • To identify dropouts, enabling LEAs to efficiently target resources to recover those students.

CALPADS ODS data is increasingly being used to provide direct benefits to individual students:

  • Identifying students, on a monthly basis, who are automatically eligible for free or reduced-priced meals under the National School Lunch Program.
  • Identifying students, on a weekly basis, who are foster youth so that they may receive appropriate services.
  • Identifying students eligible to receive benefits under the Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program administered by the California Department of Social Services. Under this program, students identified at any time during the year receive direct cash support for the purchase of food and groceries.

CALPADS ODS data are also used by the CDE for important monitoring activities that impact LEAs, including:

  • Enabling the CDE to monitor whether SWDs are receiving a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and whether EL students are receiving appropriate instruction and services as required by state and federal law.

As evidenced by the continually increasing use of CALPADS data for uses that are high stakes for LEAs, schools, and students, it is critical that executive leadership ensure business processes are in place and staff are adequately supported to collect and maintain data in the CALPADS ODS on an ongoing basis, and to review and certify accurate data during the Fall and EOY submissions. Specific steps that executive leadership can take to support CALPADS staff and ensure data quality were provided in the Mid-Year Data Collection Update letter sent to superintendents and charter school administrators on April 21, 2021. This letter can be found here:

CDE Continued Commitment to Support Data Submission

Given the important role CALPADS plays in so many areas, the CDE recognizes the importance of continuing to improve system performance and ensure system security. The CDE is currently working on significant system modifications which will greatly facilitate the movement of data between local systems and CALPADS, as well as enhance the use of CALPADS data by LEAs.

The CDE plans to roll out these changes following this year’s fall submissions which end in early March 2022, and before the opening of the EOY submissions in May. Implementing the changes will require some system down time (5 – 7 days), and the CDE will select a time that minimizes, to the extent possible, the impact on LEA English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) and California Assessment Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing schedules. The CDE will begin to provide more frequent communications regarding the anticipated changes beginning in November, and will communicate the anticipated system down time well in advance so that LEAs can plan their work accordingly. The CDE remains committed to supporting LEAs through the upcoming workflow and system changes and appreciates the continued patience of LEA users until the major changes are implemented this spring.

Recognizing that overall system performance has degraded, particularly in the fall, with both the need to acquire statewide student identifiers to register new students for the Initial ELPAC within required deadlines (5 CCR Section 11518.5(e)), and the addition of the Special Education data collections to CALPADS, the CDE will be implementing changes this fall to some of the legacy processes to improve system performance.

Other Updates and Educational Data Management

There are no changes to the CBEDS data collection this year. CBEDS materials and training are available on the CBEDS web page at

The 2021–22 Consolidated Application Program Guidance and Instructions are available in the “What’s New” section of the CDE Consolidated Application web page at

In Summary

Thank you in advance for your efforts in submitting quality and timely data to the CDE.
The ongoing support of your staff, particularly LEA CALPADS Administrators and their staff, who through their work are playing a key role in so many critical functions, is much appreciated. Keeping CALPADS updated with student enrollments and exits, and program data, along with certifying accurate data during the submission windows, has become increasingly important because of the use of the data in mission critical functions and for high stakes purposes. Please remember that there will be no opportunity for LEAs to revise data once final certification deadlines have passed, and after announced dates that ODS data will be pulled for specific uses.

If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office by phone at 916-324-6738 or by email at, or Glenn Miller, [Note: Glenn Miller is no longer the CALPADS Administrator. This contact information is no longer valid.] Administrator, by phone at 916-319-0529 or by email at [Note: The preceding contact email address is no longer valid. The CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office email address is]

Thank you for your support.


Jerry Winkler, Director
Educational Data Management Division


Last Reviewed: Monday, February 5, 2024

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