Dear County and District Superintendents:
Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program
The 2018–19 Budget package signed into law in June 2018, provides $50 million in one-time funding for the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program (CSESAP). The California Department of Education (CDE) will apportion funds to participating local educational agencies (LEAs) in August 2020, to provide up to a dollar for dollar match on amounts withheld from the LEAs participating classified school employees’ monthly pay checks during the 2019–20 school year. For purposes of this program, a participating LEA may include a school district or county office of education.
Under the provisions of the program, LEAs have the option to elect to participate in the CSESAP. The following is a summary of key dates and requirements that LEAs need to be aware of, as prescribed in Section 133 of Assembly Bill (AB) 1808 (Chapter 32, Statutes of 2018), as amended by Section 37 of AB 1840 (Chapter 426, Statutes of 2018), in implementing the program if an LEA decides to participate:
- By January 1, 2019, a participating LEA shall notify classified employees that the LEA has elected to participate in the program for the 2019–20 school year. Once an LEA elects to participate in the program and notifies classified employees, the LEA is prohibited from reversing the decision.
- By March 1, 2019, a classified employee that elects to participate in the program shall notify the LEA in writing, on a form prescribed by the CDE. To participate, the classified employee must meet certain eligibility criteria, specify amounts to be withheld up to 10 percent from their monthly paychecks, and choose whether to receive one or two payments during the 2020 summer recess period. Detailed eligibility requirements are described further below.
- By April 1, 2019, a participating LEA shall notify the CDE that it elects to participate in the program, specify the number of classified employees that have elected to participate, and estimate the total amount to be withheld from participating classified employee paychecks for the 2019–20 school year.
- By June 1, 2019, a participating LEA shall notify participating classified employees of the estimated amount of state match funding the employee can expect to receive as a result of participating in the program.
- During the 2019–20 school year, a participating LEA shall withhold specified amounts from their participating classified employees' monthly paychecks. Participating employees are allowed to withdraw their election to participate in the CSESAP or reduce the amount of the withholding, by notifying the LEA no later than 30 days after the start of the school year. In addition, a classified employee that separates from employment with the LEA during the 2019–20 school year may request from the LEA any pay withheld.
- On or before July 31, 2020, a participating LEA shall request payment from the CDE on a form developed by the CDE for the amount of classified employee pay withheld. If the total amount requested by LEAs exceeds the appropriated amount available for the CSESAP, the CDE will apply a proration accordingly.
- During summer recess in 2020, LEAs must pay their classified employees the amounts withheld from their monthly paychecks plus the CSESAP match funds expected from the state, in one or two payments in accordance with the employee's selected payment option. The summer recess period may vary for each LEA, and is the period that regular class sessions are not being held by the LEA during the months of June, July, and August.
If an LEA makes an election to participate in the CSESAP, it is important to note that a classified employee must meet certain eligibility criteria as a condition of participation in the CSESAP:
- The employee must have been employed with the LEA for at least one year at the time the employee elects to participate;
- The employee is employed by the LEA for fewer than 12 months per fiscal year; and
- The regular annual pay the classified employee receives directly from the LEA is less than two times the full time pay of a classified employee, paid at the state minimum wage for an entire school year, at the time of enrollment. For purposes of determining regular annual pay, exclude any pay received by the classified employee during the summer recess period of the previous year.
Participating LEAs are also required to deposit amounts withheld from their participating classified employees' monthly paychecks in a separate account. It is important for LEAs to consider the above requirements for the CSESAP to ensure effective implementation of the program. In addition, LEAs should also be aware that strict adherence to the CDE reporting timeframes is critical to ensure state match funds can be apportioned to the LEA for their participating classified employees.
The CDE will notify participating LEAs of the estimated state match funds the LEA can expect to receive by May 1, 2019. The CDE will make the required apportionment for the state match funds in August 2020. The CDE prescribed forms described above and additional program guidance will be forthcoming and communicated separately from this letter.
If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact Derrick Andrade, Fiscal Consultant, School Fiscal Services Division, by phone at 916-327-5922, or by email at email@example.com.