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Independent Study and Charter School Renewals FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions related to Assembly Bill 130.

The below frequently asked questions are intended to provide clarification to charter schools, charter authorizers, and interest holders on matters related to Assembly Bill 130 External link opens in new window or tab. [Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021], which was approved by the Governor on July 9, 2021.

Guidance regarding the Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions, Form J-13A requirements and submissions for the 2021–22 fiscal year are available at 2021–22 Form J-13A - Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional frequently asked questions regarding independent study programs and requirements are available at Independent Study. Additional guidance on quarantine and independent study are available at Clarifications for Student Learning in Quarantine.

Independent Study

  1. Are charter schools required to offer independent study for the 2021–22 school year under Assembly Bill 130?
    For school year 2021–22 only, Assembly Bill 130 requires school districts and county offices of education to offer independent study as an educational option, pursuant to California Education Code Section 51745. This requirement does not include charter schools. Additional information regarding this subject is available in the Changes to Independent Study Requirements letter, which was released on July 15, 2021.
  2. Do the new requirements for independent study under Assembly Bill 130 apply to a nonclassroom-based charter providing an independent study model?
    Nonclassroom-based charter schools have to comply with the new independent study requirements, including offering daily or weekly live interaction/synchronous instruction; tracking nonparticipation and tiered reengagement; and increasing auditing. Any reference in the independent study requirements of Assembly Bill 130 to "local educational agency" or "LEA" includes charter schools.
  3. Where can I find guidance on implementing the new requirements, such as updated board policies, written agreements, attendance, and record keeping?
    A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to common questions and answers in implementing the requirements under California Education Code sections 51745 through 51749.6 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 sections 11700 through 11705 are available under Written (Learning) Agreements at Frequently Asked Questions. These FAQs have been updated to address the changes to independent study pursuant to Assembly Bill 130.
  4. Do charter schools need to submit a material revision to their charter authorizer for approval in order to provide an independent study program component?
    Assembly Bill 130 did not change the obligations that charter schools have under the Charter Schools Act, existing regulations, their petition, or obligations to their authorizer, including the terms of any memorandum of understanding. Charter schools should consult with their authorizer regarding the necessity of a material revision for implementing a new independent study program for school year 2021–22.
  5. How must charter schools account for the 20 percent nonclassroom-based time? Must they use independent study guidelines or may they apply other methods for validating instructional minutes during nonclassroom learning experiences?
    All nonclassroom-based time must follow independent study rules. Information and resources regarding instructional time and attendance accounting requirements are available at Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting. Additional questions regarding this subject should be directed to the Principal Apportionment Section via email at
  6. What happens if a classroom-based charter school needs to go over the 20 percent cap of independent study in order to accommodate families who wish to remain at home?
    If a classroom-based charter school will be offering less than 80 percent of instructional time as classroom-based instruction, resulting in more than 20 percent of instruction being nonclassroom based, the charter school must submit a determination of funding request to the California Department of Education, Charter Schools Division, and have the funding determination approved by the State Board of Education. The charter school will also need to consult with their charter authorizer to determine if a material revision is required pursuant to California Education Code Section 47612.5(d)(3) and/or the terms of any memorandum of understanding between the charter authorizer and the charter school. Further guidance regarding the funding determination process is available at Determination of Funding Requests for Fiscal Year 2022–23.
  7. May a a charter school offering independent study provide instructional funds to pupils or to their parents or guardians? (Posted 29-Nov-2022)
    Pursuant to California Education Code Section 51747.3(a), a charter school may not provide any funds or other things of value to a pupil or to a pupil's parent or guardian that a school district could not legally provide to a similarly situated pupil of the school district. Providing access to connectivity and charter school owned devices in order for the pupil to participate in independent study and complete assigned work is not considered funds or other things of value and is therefore permissible.

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Charter School Renewals

  1. What charter schools fall under the two-year charter term extension per California Education Code Section 47607.4?

    Notwithstanding the renewal process and criteria established under California Education Code sections 47605.9, 47607, 47607.2, or any other law, effective July 1, 2021, all charter schools whose term expires on or between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2025, inclusive, shall have their term extended by two years.

  2. Can charters opt to move forward with the renewal petition regardless of new legislation?

    Assembly Bill 130 has extended the charter term of every charter school whose charter term would otherwise end between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2025. Therefore, a charter school should petition for renewal based on the new, extended charter term end date, consistent with the requirements in California Education Code sections 47607 and 47607.2.

  3. Do charter authorizers need to update their memorandums of understanding with charter schools to reflect the two-year charter term extension?
    Effective July 1, 2021, all charter schools whose term expires on or between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2025, shall have their term extended by two years pursuant to California Education Code Section 47607.4. The Charter Schools Division has automatically updated the charter terms of charter schools impacted by this extension. Further, statute does not require memorandums of understanding between charter authorizers and charter schools to be updated; it is a local decision whether or not to update a memorandum of understanding.

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Questions:   Charter Schools Division | | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 30, 2022