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Charter School Numbers and Changes in Authorizers

Information and guidance regarding requests for charter school numbers and changes in authorizing local educational agencies.

This web page serves to inform authorizing local educational agencies (LEAs) of the Charter School Action Form, which is to be completed by authorizing LEAs as follows:

  • To request a charter school number for a new classroom-based charter school, or
  • To inform that a currently-existing charter school has changed authorizing LEAs, or
  • To inform that a nonclassroom-based (NCB) charter school resource center has petitioned to become its own charter school.

The Charter School Action Form as well as detailed instructions for completing the form are provided in the Form and Instructions section below.

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Background

Who, What, and Why

Assembly Bill 1505 [Chaptered 486, Statutes of 2019] defines specific instances in which a charter school is to be treated as “continuing” by the California Department of Education (CDE). In order to comply with this requirement of AB 1505, the CDE developed the Charter School Action Form. The Charter School Action Form is to be completed by authorizing LEAs as follows:

  • To request a charter school number for a new classroom-based (CB) charter school, or
  • To inform that a currently-existing charter school has changed authorizing LEAs, or
  • To inform that a NCB charter school resource center has petitioned to become its own charter school.

For a newly-authorized CB charter school and an NCB resource center that has petitioned to become a charter school, the completion and submission of the Charter School Action Form is the responsibility of the approving authorizing LEA.

For an existing charter school that has changed authorizers, the completion and submission of the Charter School Action Form is the responsibility of the charter school’s new authorizing LEA, not the charter school’s previous authorizing LEA.

When, Where, and How

California Education Code (EC) does not specify a date by which this information is to be reported to the CDE; however, the CDE recommends the Charter School Action Form be submitted to the Charter Schools Division (CSD) within 10 calendar days of the official action taken by the new authorizing LEA.

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Form and Instructions

Download the Charter School Action Form (PDF).

Detailed instructions for completing the Charter School Action Form are available at Charter School Action Form Instructions. A downloadable copy of the instructions are available at Charter School Action Form Instructions (PDF).

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Submission and Next Steps

Submit the completed and signed Charter School Action Form as well as the supporting documentation specified below to the CSD via email at charters@cde.ca.gov:

  • Copy of the authorizing LEA’s board meeting minutes showing approval of the charter school,
  • Copy of the approved charter petition, and
  • Cover letter signed by the superintendent of the authorizing LEA that provides an explanation for the action identified under Section 3 of the Charter School Action Form.

If any of the aforementioned documents are too large to be submitted via email, contact the CSD and alternate upload arrange will be made.

If the Charter School Action Form and additional documentation cannot be provided electronically, mail all documents (printed back to back) to the CSD at the following address:

California Department of Education
Charter Schools Division
Attention: Charter School Action
1430 N Street, Suite 5401
Sacramento, CA 95814

The CSD will confirm receipt of the Charter School Action Form and supporting documentation, review the information provided, and reach out to the indicated point-of-contact at the authorizing LEA with guidance regarding next steps and additional CDE reporting requirements.

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Additional Information and Reporting Requirements

Charter School Number

EC Section 47602 requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to assign a number to a charter school that has been approved by a local entity in the chronological order in which it was received. Each number ("charter school number") assigned corresponds to a single petition that identifies a charter school that will operate within its geographic and site limitations. This numbering system ensures that the state stays within a statutory cap on the total number of charter schools authorized to operate within California.

Prior to requesting a charter school number for a charter school, authorizing LEAs should first complete and submit the Charter School Action Form. The CSD will review the information submitted and notify the authorizing LEA if a charter school number is needed. The CSD will provide the Charter School Number Form and accompanying instructions to the authorizing LEA at that time.

The below table lists the deadlines to submit the Charter School Action Form and Charter School Number Form in order to receive a charter school number from the SBE. All documentation indicated under the Submission and Next Steps section must be received by 5 p.m. on the dates listed under the Deadline to Submit to the Charter Schools Division column:

Deadline to Submit to the Charter Schools Division State Board of Education Meeting Date
October 25, 2019
January 8-9, 2020
December 27, 2019
March 11-12, 2020
February 21, 2020
May 6-7, 2020
April 24, 2020
July 8-9, 2020
June 26, 2020
September 10-11, 2020
August 21, 2020
November 5-6, 2020

Note: SBE meeting agendas are available at Current & Past Agendas. Agendas are posted ten (10) days prior to the actual SBE meeting date. A specific agenda item is dedicated to the assignment of charter school numbers and is typically grouped with the consent items.

County-District-School Code

A charter school number must be assigned by the SBE before a County-District-School (CDS) code can be issued. A CDS code may be applied for one month prior to the SBE meeting in which a charter school number will be received. Detailed information as well as the application for a CDS Code is located at County-District-School Administration.

Reporting and Funding Deadlines

New charter schools that start instruction by September 30 and are requesting a charter number at either the July or September SBE meeting must complete the following steps in order to receive advance funding:

  • Obtain a CDS code
  • File a Pupil Estimates for New or Significantly Expanding Charters (PENSEC) Report (for approval at the July SBE meeting)
  • File a Charter 20-Day Report (for approval at the July or September SBE meeting)

Note: A charter school may still submit data and receive First Principal Apportionment (P-1)and Second Principal Apportionment (P-2) funding even if the PENSEC/Charter 20-Day reports for advance funding are not submitted. Visit Charter School Special Advance for additional information about obtaining special advance funding in the first year of operation or in a year of expansion.

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Questions:   Charter Schools Division | charters@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Monday, July 6, 2020
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