Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

January Quarterly Regional Training Resources

Information and resources from the January 2023 Quarterly Regional Training, presented by the Charter Authorizer Support Initiative (CASI).

Road to Renewal: Oversight Best Practices and What Every Authorizer Needs to Know about Charter Renewals for 2023-24

The January 2023 CASI Quarterly Regional Training focused on oversight and charter renewal best practices for authorizers.

Live Video Recording

CASI Quarterly Regional Training, January 2023 External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 1:22:19) (Note: Portions of the video have been edited for length and content.)

Section Menu

Oversight Best Practices

Statutory Requirement California Education Code Section 47604.32

  • California Education Code (EC) Section 47604.32 External link opens in new window or tab.
  • Identify at least one staff member as a contact person for the charter school
  • Visit each charter school at least annually
  • Ensure school complies with all reports required of charters by law, including Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and LCAP annual update
  • Monitor fiscal condition of each charter school
  • Provide timely notification to the California Department of Education (CDE) of renewal, revocation, or a school that ceases operations

Return to top

Key Practices

  • Conduct site visits (at least once per year, but multiple if needed)
  • Provide annual reports, with eye to renewal (look at the totality of reports)
  • Monitor finances (recommend monthly)
  • Attend charter board meetings (at least annually)
  • Review school data (demographic, academic, etc.):
    • California Schools Dashboard
    • LCAP
    • School Accountability Report Card
    • Comprehensive Safety Plan
  • Maintain Open and Positive relationships

Return to top

Material Revisions Best Practices

Per EC Section 47607, material revisions to the charter are governed by EC Section 47605. Material revisions often occur at the time of renewal when a charter school proposes to change locations or grade levels served, but these changes (or any others) may be made only with the approval of the chartering authority. Additional examples of a material revision to the charter include, but are not limited to, changing the governance structure of the school; significantly increasing or decreasing the enrollment; changing the education program (for example moving from classroom-based to hybrid to nonclassroom-based); or changing the retirement system for school employees. The material revision process may also be addressed through the authorizer's board policy. Most charters seek material revisions only during the renewal process because charter schools requesting renewal are required to update the charter to comply with any new laws since the charter was last reviewed and to follow the same procedures as a new petition.

Return to top

Renewal Best Practices

The CDE provides guidance and information on specific laws and procedures of the charter school renewal process at Charter School Renewals.

Review charter petition updates

Review updated charter petition components (EC 47605 External link opens in new window or tab.). While not all the components need to be updated, any of the other components could be updated as well as part of a material revision (i.e., the measurable pupil outcomes may be updated to include a new testing program for verifiable data).

  • A. Education Program (Possible need for updating)
    1. Watch for Transitional Kindergarten
    2. Watch for Independent Study
  • B. Measurable pupil outcomes
  • C. Method for measuring outcomes
  • D. Governance Structure (Needs updating)
    1. Names and Qualifications of persons to serve on Board
    2. Student Board Members
  • E. Employee Qualifications (Possible need for updating)
    1. Credential flexibility
  • F. Health and safety procedures (Needs updating)
    1. Comprehensive Safety Plan needs First Responder review
  • G. Means to achieve a balance of racial, ethnic, Special Education, and English learner pupils (Needs updating)
    1. Now includes Special Education and English learner pupils
  • H. Admissions policies and procedures (Needs updating)
    1. Comprehensive review of admissions policies
    2. Exact process of how lottery is conducted
    3. Notices to parents and community (not counseling students out)
  • I. Annual audit process
  • J. Suspension & Expulsion processes (Needs updating)
    1. Updated language regarding involuntary dismissal from school
    2. Updated due process language
  • K. Employee benefits, focusing on retirement —social security, State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS), and the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)
  • L. Attendance alternatives
  • M. Return rights of employees
  • N. Dispute resolution
  • O. Procedures for closure
Additional petition updates:
  • Updated assurances and affirmations
  • Updated credential requirements

Return to top

Review updated enrollment and attendance data

EC Section 47607(d)(1) requires the CDE, upon request by a chartering authority, to provide aggregate data reflecting pupil enrollment patterns at a charter school. Specific information regarding enrollment data is available under Enrollment Data at Legislation Impacting Charters.

AB 1505 requires the CDE, upon request by a charter school authorizer, to provide the following aggregate data reflecting pupil enrollment patterns at the charter school:

  • A. The cumulative enrollment for each school year of the charter school's term. For purposes of this chapter, cumulative enrollment is defined as the total number of pupils, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and pupil subgroups, who enrolled in school at any time during the school year. This data is available at Cumulative Enrollment Data.
  • B. For each school year of the charter school's term, the percentage of pupils enrolled at any point between the beginning of the school year and census day who were not enrolled at the conclusion of that year, and the average results on the statewide assessments in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, or any successor system, for any such pupils who were enrolled in the charter school the prior school year. This data is available and will be provided to charter school authorizers upon request. Requests should be submitted via email to Dashboard@cde.ca.gov.
  • C. For each school year of the charter school's term, the percentage of pupils enrolled the prior school year who were not enrolled as of census day for the school year, except for pupils who completed the grade that is the highest grade served by the charter school, and the average results on the statewide assessments in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, or any successor system, for any such pupils. This data is available and will be provided to charter school authorizers upon request. Requests should be submitted via email to Dashboard@cde.ca.gov.

Return to top

Review Renewal Charter School Performance Category List

The Charter School Performance Category Data File is updated annually with the release of the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) when new performance levels/colors are assigned. Due to Assembly Bill (AB) 130, the Dashboard was not reported in 2021 and will not have performance levels/colors in 2022. Therefore, the Charter School Performance Category Data File will not be updated until early 2024 following the release of the 2023 Dashboard. Please continue to refer to the above file for charter school performance categories.

Additional information regarding this subject is available at Updates on Data for Charter School Appeals and Renewals. Note: Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) charter schools have their own renewal criteria and are not eligible to be placed in a performance category.

In the absence of statewide data, charter authorizers must consider clear and convincing evidence of measurable increases in academic achievement and/or strong post-secondary outcomes, demonstrated through verified data, when evaluating a petition for renewal. For all renewals under these criteria:

  • Greater weight is on academic performance
  • Renewal shall be on a five-year term, if renewed
  • Use of verified data and postsecondary outcomes, which sunset on January 1, 2026

An example of available local assessment data was collected by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, at the request of the California State Board of Education (SBE) and CDE, from three selected testing publishers who supported the administration of spring 2021 local assessments. This one-time resource, in addition to the state-level data provided by the CDE, may help to provide a fuller picture of student performance in California from spring 2021. To view this resource, visit Spring 2021 Performance on Three Locally Determined Assessments in California External link opens in new window or tab..

Return to top

Review academic performance of significant student subgroups

In general, charter schools are required by law to participate in all statewide testing programs, including testing required for the California School Dashboard. These requirements are provided for in EC sections 47605 External link opens in new window or tab., 47607 External link opens in new window or tab., 47607.2 External link opens in new window or tab., and 47612.5 External link opens in new window or tab.. Additional information can be found under Statewide Assessment and Testing on the Charter School Renewals web page.

Pursuant to EC 47607(b)(1), the chartering authority shall consider the schoolwide performance and performance of all subgroups on state and local indicators. Pursuant to EC 47607.2(b)(3), in addition to state and local indicators, the chartering authority shall consider clear and convincing evidence showing either of the following:

  • (A) The school achieve measurable increases in academic achievement as defined by at least one year's progress for each year in school.
  • (B) Strong postsecondary outcomes, as defined by college enrollment, persistence, and completion rates equal to similar peers
  • Pursuant to EC 47607.2(b)(4), subparagraphs (A) and (B) above shall be demonstrated by verified data, as defined in subdivision EC 47607.2(c).

Under AB 1505, the legislature set forth requirements for the State Board to establish criteria to define verified data and identify an approved list of assessments. To date, no exceptions to these criteria or list of assessments have been made by the legislature or State Board. A summary of the November 2020 SBE-adopted actions related to the verified data requirements under AB 1505 are available at Verified Data Criteria and Adopted Indicators.

Return to top

Review governance, financials, operations, and complaints

Regardless of a charter school's placement under the performance categories, EC Section 47607(e) allows chartering authorities to deny a charter school’s renewal if it makes a finding that the charter school is demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition due to substantial fiscal or governance factors, or if the charter school is not serving all pupils who wish to attend. The chartering authority may only deny renewal using this standard if it has provided at least 30 days’ notice to the charter school of the alleged violation and provided the charter school with a reasonable opportunity to cure the violation, including a corrective action plan proposed by the charter school. The chartering authority may deny renewal only by making either of the following findings:

  1. The corrective action plan proposed by the charter school has been unsuccessful, or
  2. The violations are sufficiently severe and pervasive as to render a corrective action plan unviable.

Return to top

Non-renewal standards

Per EC 47607.2(b)(6) External link opens in new window or tab.:

The chartering authority may deny a charter renewal pursuant to this subdivision only upon making written findings, setting forth specific facts to support the findings, that the charter school has failed to meet or make sufficient progress toward meeting standards that provide a benefit to the pupils of the school, that closure of the charter school is in the best interest of pupils and, if applicable pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3), that its decision provided greater weight to performance on measurements of academic performance.

Return to top

Renewal Procedures

Dashboard Alternative Schools Status (DASS)

EC Section 47607(c)(7) requires a chartering authority to consider a DASS school's performance on the Dashboard (all performance indicators and local indicators) as well as on “alternative metrics.” These alternative metrics are to be mutually determined by a charter school and its chartering authorities during the first year of the charter school's charter term. A chartering authority is to notify a DASS school of the alternative metrics to be used within 30 days of the meeting where metrics were discussed and agreed to. Denial of the renewal of a DASS school must include written findings of fact supporting the supposition that the closure of the charter school is in the best interest of the pupils. Additional information on renewal of DASS Charter Schools can be found under Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) Schools on the Charter School Renewals web page.

Return to top

Renewal Timelines

  • The charter school must submit a renewal petition including a signed certification of completion
  • 60 days from submission, the charter authorizer must hold a public hearing
  • 90 days from submission, the charter authorizer must hold a decision hearing
  • The charter authorizer must post findings and recommendations 15 days prior to the decision hearing
  • The charter school may appeal within 30 days if denied and submit the petition to both the district and county at the same time
  • The county must remand the petition back to the district if the petition is materially changed and the district must re-review within 30 days

Return to top

Renewal Submission Processes

For more information regarding requirements for the timely notification to the CDE after approval of a charter school renewal, please visit Charter School Renewals Notification and Required Documentation.

Return to top

Additional Resources

Return to top

Return to Quarterly Regional Trainings

Return to Charter Authorizer Support Initiative

Questions:   Charter Authorizer Support Initiative | CASI@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 24, 2023