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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
April 7, 2020
Sent by electronic mail

Dear County Chief Business Officials:

2020–21 Approved Indirect Cost Rates

As the agency authorized by the United States Department of Education to approve California kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) local educational agency (LEA) indirect cost rates, the California Department of Education (CDE) has reviewed the 2018–19 standardized account code structure (SACS) expenditure data and has finalized the approved indirect cost rates. The rates are for use, as allowable, with
2020–21 federal and state programs.

Approved Indirect Cost Rates

Please advise the school districts and joint powers agencies (JPAs) in your county that the indirect cost rates are posted on the CDE Indirect Cost Rate (ICR) web page at

Indirect Cost Rates for JPAs

As a reminder, because JPAs do not generally meet the guidelines for receiving approved indirect cost rates, they are not given an approved rate unless it is requested during the SACS data submission process. For further information on indirect cost rates applicable to JPAs, including the guidelines that must be met to receive an indirect cost rate, see Procedure 805 of the California School Accounting Manual which is available on the CDE Accounting Definitions, Instructions & Procedures web page at

Charter School Indirect Cost Rates

The approved 2020–21 indirect cost rates for charter schools are also posted on the ICR web page listed above. Please share them with the applicable school districts and charter schools.

Statewide Average Indirect Cost Rates

The 2020–21 statewide average indirect cost rate is 5.00 percent.

California Education Code Section 38101(c) limits food service program indirect costs to amounts derived using the lesser of a school district's approved indirect cost rate or the statewide average indirect cost rate. Each district should compare this statewide average rate with its individual indirect cost rate to determine the lesser rate for use with this program.

A listing showing the statewide average rates for the last five years is also available on the ICR web page listed above.

SACS Query Page

To aid staff in identifying the allowable indirect cost rates for various programs, the SACS Query system available on the CDE Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) web page at includes this information for most programs.

If you have any questions regarding the indirect cost rates, please contact our office by phone at 916-322-1770 or by email at


Christine Davis, Administrator
Financial Accountability and Information Services

Last Reviewed: Friday, April 10, 2020

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