WaiversHelp for local educational agencies in requesting a waiver from the California State Board of Education; provides flexibility to the California Education Code, Title 5 Regulation, and the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Waiver Process for the California State Board of Education
The purpose of a waiver is to provide flexibility in a school district or county office of education without undermining the basic intent of the law. The governing board of a school district or county office of education may request a waiver of parts of the California Education Code and regulations. The State Board of Education (SBE) may approve such waivers under the non waivable general waiver authority, sections 33050-33053. Some statutes are excluded from the general waiver authority.
Specific waivers are granted under the authority given to the SBE in various specific Education Code sections and are generally more limited in scope. The specific authority most commonly used is Education Code Section 56101 for students with disabilities. In addition to school districts and county office governing boards, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA's) may request this waiver for students with disabilities.
Waiver for Reopening Schools
On July 17, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that a waiver of the state’s school reopening criteria may be available for elementary schools. This waiver is not within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education or the State Board of Education, but will instead be considered by local public health officers, in consultation with CDPH.
For further information, please see the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year (PDF).
SB 328, Portantino. Pupil Attendance: School Start Time
- On October 13, 2019 Governor Newson signed SB 328 (Ch. 868, Statutes of 2019) into law. This law prohibits middle schools from beginning no earlier than 8:00am, and high schools no earlier than 8:30am, except for zero periods The bill exempts rural school districts from its requirements.
- High schools and middle schools, including charter schools, must make this change beginning July 1, 2022 or the date on which a school district’s or charter school’s respective collective bargaining agreement that is operative on January 1, 2020, expires, whichever is later.
- The law adds Education Code (EC) 46148 to existing code. This EC Section cannot be waived by the State Board of Education. For a complete list of EC sections that cannot be waived, please see the following link Some statues are excluded from the general waiver authority.asp.
- Because the statute is not waivable by the SBE, CDE will return any request to waive EC 46148 to the local educational agency submitting the waiver.
School Site Council Waivers
Pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 716 local educational agencies (LEAs) will no longer be required to seek the State Board of Education (SBE) approval for some of their school site councils to waive the composition requirements contained in Education Code (EC) 65000. The specific provisions for such permission are authorized in EC 65001 which allows:
- (a)Schools with a common site administration may operate a shared schoolsite council if the schoolsite has a pupil population of less than 300.
- (b)Up to three schools with a combined pupil population of less than 1,000 may operate a shared schoolsite council if the schools have at least one of the following characteristics:
- (1)A shared campus.
- (2)Geographic proximity to one another with similar pupil populations.
- (c)In the case of a shared schoolsite council, each elementary school shall have representation as indicated in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 65000, and each secondary school shall have representation as indicated in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 65000.
- (d)A school with a population of fewer than 300 pupils may operate a schoolsite council that has the representation of at least one member of each group identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 65000 as long as it maintains parity with the representation of the groups referenced in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 65000, and the local governing board or body of the local educational agency has obtained approval from its local bargaining unit, if applicable.
- (e)The state board may grant a waiver of any provision of this part to a school district or county office of education. A school district governing board or county board of education, on behalf of a schoolsite council, may request that the state board grant a waiver of any provision of this part.
- (f)The state board may adopt rules and regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this part.
(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 471, Sec. 7. (AB 716) Effective January 1, 2019.)
If you have any additional questions about AB 716, please contact the Waiver Office 916-319-0824
Out-of-State Use of Funds
Pursuant to Section 2 of Assembly Bill 341 (Chapter 40/Statutes of 2017), the prohibition for school districts to pay expenses of pupils participating in a field trip or excursion out of state will be removed effective January 1, 2018. Therefore any waiver after December 31, 2017, will not be necessary.
Transitional Kindergarten – Equity Length of Time Waivers
Due to the Budget Act of 2017 (AB 99) amended EC 37202, so it is no longer necessary for LEAs who have established an early primary program to have an approved State Board of Education equity length of time waiver on file.
Charter School – Chartering district must request General Waivers on your behalf:
California Education Code (EC) 33054 used to allow charter school to submit a general waiver request on their own behalf. However, effective January 7, 2007, that section of the EC was repealed.
This means that a charter school can no longer submit a general waiver request on its own behalf. Charter schools must have their chartering district submit the waiver request for the charter school. The general waiver request is available for review and all data elements must be completed.
A charter school may continue to directly submit only federal waivers of the Carl Perkins Act and a Specific Waiver of Instruction Time Penalties.
Submit a Waiver Request
Information about the online waiver process to submit waivers to the State Board of Education. Information includes, Frequently Asked Questions, what data elements are required for submission, and sample Education Code strike-out language.
2021-2022 Waiver Calendar
Calendar dates for the State Board of Education meetings.
Waiver Contact Guide
List of topics of waiver requests and the corresponding department staff with phone numbers.
For the years 2015 through 2019.
Here are the most current ones available. Waiver policies that used to reside on the State Board of Education's web site are now on this page.
Waivers submitted to CDE on a weekly basis.
Contact the Waiver Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5602
Sacramento, CA 95814
Main Telephone Number: 916-319-0824
Fax Number: 916-319-0117
Waiver Office firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Places to visit
For more information on the State Board of Education, visit its Web site at: State Board of Education.
Got a question regarding teaching credentials waivers? Go to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing .