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How to Participate


The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) (Gov. Code, section 11340 et seq.) establishes a rulemaking process through which all state regulations, including those in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, are added, amended, and repealed. This rulemaking process allows for public input. As detailed below, during the open public comment periods in a rulemaking action, the public may participate by providing written or oral comments regarding the regulations. At the end of the rulemaking action, these comments are included in the final rulemaking file, which is submitted with the regulations for approval by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The approved rulemaking file is filed with the Secretary of State.

Additionally, the public  may attend the State Board of Education (SBE) meeting at which the regulations of interest are agendized and submit written or oral comments. The comments made at the SBE meetings are considered by the SBE members for their decision to take action, i.e., approving a 15-day public comment period, and are not part of the APA process. Thus, the comments made at the SBE public hearing are not included in the final rulemaking file.

The 45-Day and 15-Day Open Public Comment Periods

45-Day Comment Period

When the California Department of Education (CDE), SBE, or the State Superintendent of Public Instruction amends, repeals, or adds language to a regulation, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) is filed with OAL so it can publish the Notice in the California Regulatory Notice Register External link opens in new window or tab. (Register). Additionally, the CDE sends the Notice via email or the U.S. Postal Service to those individuals who have asked to be on the CDE’s Notice mailing list1 and to school districts, county offices of education and charter schools. The Notice is posted on the CDE's regulations web page.

A 45-day public comment period commences for a proposed rulemaking action on the day the Notice is published in the Register. The 45-day public comment period allows individuals the opportunity to submit written, faxed, or email comments on a proposed regulation to the CDE’s Regulations Coordinator. The Notice explains how to obtain access to the proposed regulation text, the Initial Statement of Reasons and who to contact if questions arise regarding the content of the regulations. The Notice also specifies the date, time, and location of a public hearing at which oral and/or written comments may be submitted on the proposed regulation.

The APA does not require that the CDE provide an oral or written return response to the comment. However, the Final Statement of Reasons (a document submitted to the OAL in the final rulemaking file) must demonstrate that each relevant, timely comment has been considered.

15-Day Comment Period

If substantive amendments are made to the proposed regulations after the 45-day public comment period, an additional notice, i.e., 15-Day Notice, and the proposed modified regulations will be sent only to those individuals who submitted a written comment during the 45-day public comment period or attended and spoke at a scheduled public hearing or requested to be notified of these specific changes. The 15-Day Notice advises individuals that either amendments have been made to the proposed regulations or new material, e.g., guidelines, manuals, etc., has been relied upon in developing the regulations. The 15-Day Notice also advises individuals that they have up to 15 calendar days to submit written comments on the proposed modifications and/or the new material that has been relied upon. The CDE also posts the 15-Day Notice and the proposed amendments to the text on its Proposed Rulemaking & Regulations web page.

Emergency Regulations

The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may adopt an emergency regulation for notice and comment. An emergency regulation takes effect immediately upon filing with Secretary of State. The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may adopt an emergency regulation if it can be shown that the regulation is necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, or if a statute deems the regulation to be an emergency for purposes of the APA.

The public may comment directly to the OAL on emergency regulations within five days after the regulation is submitted to the OAL for review, if the OAL has not taken action on the regulations before that time. The CDE, SBE, or SSPI may submit a rebuttal to any comments made on an emergency regulation up to eight days after the regulation is submitted to the OAL. The OAL has up to ten calendar days to review an emergency regulation.

You will find additional information about emergency regulations and how to submit a comment on the OAL’s Emergency Regulations web page External link opens in new window or tab.. The OAL reviews emergency regulations to determine whether an emergency has been demonstrated, or deemed by statute and whether the regulation satisfies the Authority, Reference, Consistency, Clarity, Nonduplication, and Necessity standards. Once approved, an emergency regulation remains in effect for 180 days, unless the CDE, SBE, or SSPI has a special statute allowing more or less time. During the time the emergency regulation is effective, the CDE, SBE, or SSPI must conduct the regular rulemaking process to permanently adopt the regulation. If, however, the CDE, SBE, or SSPI is unable to complete the rulemaking process within that time, the agency may request permission from the OAL to readopt the emergency regulation for another 90 days. Only two such readoptions are permitted.

State Board Participation

If the SBE is required by statute to adopt the proposed regulations, the SBE must do so before the proposed regulations can be submitted to the OAL for review. This action takes place at SBE meetings that occur every other month, beginning with the month of January. If you would like to participate in an SBE meeting and provide input on a proposed regulation that is being considered for adoption, please visit SBE's Meeting Agenda web page. The SBE's Agenda provides instructions on how to participate in an SBE meeting.

1 If you would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive a copy of all regulation Notices, please send an email to regcomments@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Regulations Coordinator | regulations@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0860
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 4, 2020