Frequently Asked QuestionsAnswers to the questions most commonly asked related to the online waiver application for waivers to the State Board of Education.
Click on one of the following topics to jump to the pertaining Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Submitting a Waiver Request - General Information
Overview for local educational agencies (LEAs) seeking to submit a waiver request to the California Department of Education (CDE) for processing and consideration by the State Board of Education (SBE).
- Waiver Request Application
Guidance on some of the data elements and fields needed to complete the online application for General, Specific, and Federal waiver requests.
- Online Waiver Request System
For questions and assistance troubleshooting common issues when submitting via the online Waiver Request System.
- State Board of Education Action and Waiver Office Disposition Letters
Information related to when the SBE will hear a waiver and when the LEA will receive notification of the SBE's decision.
- Additional Questions
Guidance and information on all other topics not covered under the previous categories.
- Other Resources
Links to various related topics.
Submitting a Waiver Request - General Information
Who can apply for a waiver?
A Superintendent of a district or county office of education, an official designee of the district or county office of education, or Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director for special education students may apply for a waiver.
Can a charter school apply for a waiver?
California Education Code (EC) Section 33054 used to allow charter schools 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 However, effective January 7, 2007, that section of the EC was repealed.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.
A charter school may continue to directly submit only federal waivers of the Carl D. Perkins Act and a specific waiver of Instruction Time Penalties.
What will I need to complete my waiver?
The waiver page Submit a Waiver Request has instructions as far as what is needed to process a General, Specific, and Federal waiver request.
How long does it take the CDE to evaluate a waiver request?
A waiver request normally takes approximately ten to twelve weeks to analyze and process. Submission of an incomplete waiver request will delay the analysis and processing of the waiver request.
Please see the Waiver Calendar for a schedule of SBE meeting dates.
I’d like to submit a renewal of a waiver previously approved by the SBE. When should I submit the request for a renewal waiver?
You need to submit the renewal waiver at least two months before it expires. Remember, you must go through the local process once more in order for your waiver to be considered.
What types of waivers can be requested / Can this section of Education Code (EC) or California Code of Regulations be waived?
Under the SBE’s general waiver authority, California EC sections 33050-33053, the governing boards of school districts and county offices of education, as well as charter schools, can request a waiver of most parts of the EC and Title 5 Regulations. Non-waivable sections are as designated in EC Section 33050(a)(1)-(23) and listed in more detail on the Non Waivable Education Codes webpage. In addition, other chapters, articles, and sections throughout the EC are also excluded from waiver by their own terms, when the bill was written.
How do I contact the Waiver Office if I have questions?
You can call the Waiver Office at 916-319-0824 or e-mail at Waiver@cde.ca.gov.
Waiver Request Application
What is a valid date?
A valid date (mm/dd/yyyy) must be before the date you are applying for the waiver. In other words, it must be in the past and cannot be a future date as this will not be accepted in the online waiver application.
What is a period of request?
Period of request is a date that is provided for the beginning and ending date on the waiver request. This can be retroactive, current year, or prospective and must be in this format (mm/dd/yyyy).
I don’t understand how to strike out the Education Code. Can you explain?
Place brackets [ .… ] around the text you wish to strike. For examples of EC strike out previously used when requesting a waiver from the SBE, please visit the Sample EC Strike-Out page.
What do I have to do to make sure the Bargaining Unit information is included in the waiver request?
After completing the bargaining unit information make sure you click on the Attach/Add bargaining unit button. This will include it with your waiver submission. You can add up to three bargaining units.
I am a charter school and I don’t have a schoolsite council or advisory council, what do I do?
Charter School Board or other board association in the charter school may review the waiver request.
Online Waiver Request System
I’ve forgotten my password. How do I recover it?
If you know your username, you may reset your account by answering your security question. Please select forgot password from the Waiver Request System logon page. You will then be prompted for your username, email address, security question, and answer.
I’ve forgotten my username and/or security question. Can I still reset my account?
No, without your username or security question you will be unable to reset your account. However, you can re-register with the same email address by creating a new user account and password. Click New Registration on the Waiver Request System log-in page to re-register.
Please note you will no longer have access to previously submitted waiver requests when re-registering. Should you need assistance in locating copies of the waiver requests, contact the Waiver Office at Waiver@cde.ca.gov or 916-319-0824.
What do I do if I switch districts once I have registered for a username and password?
You can continue to use your username and password and apply for your new district. Or you can register again with the new district.
The waiver topic I’m looking for isn’t listed on the menu page. What should I select?
If submitting a general waiver not listed on the main menu, select "Other General Waiver (not in list above)," or if submitting a specific waiver not listed, select "Other Specific Waiver (not in list above)." You will then be taken to the waiver submission page. Under the "Waiver Information" section you can then select the appropriate Waiver Topic and EC Title from the drop-down menus.
I want to file a general waiver for Citizen Oversight Committee Term Limits. What Waiver Topic do I choose?
From the Waiver Topic drop-down menu choose "School Construction Bonds." From the Education Code Title drop-down menu choose "Citizen's Oversight Committee – Term Limits."
Can I save and complete my request at a later date?
No, the waiver request in process cannot be saved. The waiver application must be completed and submitted within a two-hour period or you will have to start the application process from the beginning.
How will I know if I have submitted all of the appropriate documents?
Go to the Required Attachment section for General or Specific Waivers to see if there are any special forms needed for your waiver type. If nothing additional is required, you will submit the online waiver request only.
What types of files can I upload as attachments?
Attachments must be Microsoft Word, Excel, or PDF format.
The attachment file size exceeds the limit allowed. How can I submit the files?
Submit the required attachments first (see the Required Attachment section for General or Specific Waivers). Any additional documentation may then be submitted to Waiver@cde.ca.gov. Please make reference to the waiver number provided after submission on the Confirmation Page.
I finished submitting my waiver but it said error, will an administrator call me?
No, please re-submit your waiver again. If you continue to experience the problem, please contact the Waiver Office at Waiver@cde.ca.gov or 916-319-0824.
How do I know if the California Department of Education (CDE) received my waiver?
The Confirmation Page is your receipt that the waiver has been received by CDE.
State Board of Education Action and Waiver Office Disposition Letters
How will I know when the SBE will hear my waiver?
When will I receive the outcome of my waiver?
A recording of the SBE meeting is typically available 8-10 days after the date of the meeting on the Archived Webcast page. You will also be able to check the SBE website approximately two weeks after the SBE meeting that the waiver was heard and to review the preliminary report of SBE action. The final report of action will be posted within 30 days of being approved.
You will also receive a Disposition Letter from the Waiver Office within three weeks after the SBE meeting.
Where can I find past waiver requests from a local educational agency (LEA) heard by the SBE?
Waiver requests heard by the SBE are posted as attachments within the Waiver Item. If you know the meeting at which the waiver request was heard, you can download a copy of the Waiver Item from the agenda.
I am applying for a Class Size Penalty (CSP) waiver for Kindergarten and/or grades 1–3. Must the governing board of the school district adopt a resolution determining that an exemption should be granted with respect to core classes on the basis that such provisions prevent the district from developing more effective educational programs in the core area to improve instruction in reading and mathematics?
Yes, a principal may recommend to the governing board or the governing board of the school district may adopt a resolution determining that an exemption should be granted from any of the provisions of EC Section 41376 and 41378, with respect to such core classes on the basis that such provisions prevent the school and school district from developing more effective education programs to improve instruction in reading and mathematics. (Required for the waiver to be processed – see EC 41382).
Can a LEA apply for a waiver of Senate Bill (SB) 328 (Portatino), Pupil Attendance: School Start Time?
On October 13, 2019, Governor Newsom signed SB 328 (Ch. 868, Statutes of 2019) into law. This law prohibits middle schools from beginning no earlier than 8:00 a.m., and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m., 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 EC 46148 to existing code. This EC Section cannot be waived by the SBE. For a complete list of EC sections that cannot be waived, please see the list of statutes that are excluded from the general waiver authority. Because the statute is not waivable by the SBE, CDE will return any request to waive EC 46148 to the LEA submitting the waiver.
Do I need to submit a waiver for a School Site Council under Senate Bill (SB) 75?
Pursuant to SB 75, LEAs will no longer be required to seek the SBE approval for some of their school site councils to waive the composition requirements contained in 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 council shall be composed of members in a manner consistent with subdivision (c) of Section 65000.
- (d) (1) If the requirement in paragraph (2) is met, a school with a population of fewer than 300 pupils may operate a schoolsite council that has the representation of all of the following:
- (A) One principal.
- (B) One teacher, selected by the teachers.
- (C) One school staff member representing the other school personnel, selected by the other school personnel.
- (D) If the school is an elementary school, three parents or community members selected by parents, or if the school is a secondary school, two parents or community members selected by parents and one pupil selected by the pupils.
- (2) The local governing board or body of the local educational agency shall obtain 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. 2019, Ch. 51, Sec. 57. (SB 75) Effective July 1, 2019.)
If you have any additional questions about SB 75, please contact the Waiver Office at 916-319-0824 or Waiver@cde.ca.gov.
Do I need to submit a School District Reorganization waiver to eliminate the requirement that County Committee on School District Organization approval of my district’s proposal to establish a by-trustee-area method of election be submitted to district voters under Senate Bill (SB) 442 (Chapter 139, Statutes of 2021)?
SB 442 allows the County Committee to approve a school district’s proposal to establish a California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) of 2001 compliant election method without the EC Section 5020 requirement that the proposal be submitted to the district’s voters for approval. It is recommended that a waiver of this requirement not be submitted unless the County Committee fails to declare that the proposal is being made in furtherance of the purposes of the CVRA.
Does a LEA need to submit a waiver for Out-of-State Use of Funds?
Pursuant to Section 2 of Assembly Bill (AB) 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.
Does an LEA with an established early primary program need to have a Transitional Kindergarten – Equity Length of Time Waiver?
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.
The waiver I would like to submit does not have to be approved by the SBE, should I still send it to the Waiver Office?
No, please send the waiver to the contact listed on the waiver application.
Some waivers can be approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI). These waivers do not have to be approved by the SBE, so the process is simpler, and faster. Contact the consultant listed directly about the specific procedures and forms to use.
I need assistance with a Teaching Credential Waiver. Where can I find more information?
Since July 1994, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has had the authority to issue waiver documents that have expressly to do with educator preparation and credentialing and with the ability of employers to employ or assign persons who are not appropriately credentialed for their assignment. For questions regarding teaching credentials waivers, contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing .
How do I learn more about the Waiver to Reopen Schools in response to COVID-19?
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that a waiver of the state's school reopening criteria may be available for elementary schools. However, this waiver is not within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education (CDE) or the State Board of Education, but will instead be considered by local public health officers, in consultation with CDPH. Therefore, the CDE does not maintain a list of schools/districts that have applied for re-opening school waivers.
Additionally, in consultation with the Local Public Health Officer and the State Public Health Officer, only the Superintendent or Head of School is allowed to submit the waiver request to the Local Public Health Officer.
For further information, contact the local Public Health Office or the CDPH. Also, please refer to COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California (PDF) from the CDPH.
Waiver Policies Approved by the State Board of Education.
Annual Reports on waiver activity to the State Board of Education, Governor, and Legislature.
State Board of Education
California’s K-12 policy-making body for academic standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessments and accountability.
California Legislative Information (LegInfo)
A listing of California Law Codes and Bills
California Code of Regulations (CCR)
The CCR is the official compilation and publication of the regulations adopted, amended or repealed by state agencies.
Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
For questions on teaching credential waivers, contact the CTC.