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Charter School Use of School District Facilities

Information pertaining to charter school use of school district facilities.

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Background

California Education Code (EC) Section 47614 was amended in November 2000, with the intent that public school facilities should be shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools.

EC Section 47614 requires that school districts make available, to all charter schools operating in their school district with projections of at least 80 units of average daily attendance (ADA), facilities that will sufficiently accommodate all of the charter’s in-district students, and that facilities be “reasonably equivalent” to other classrooms, buildings, or facilities in the district.

EC Section 47614(b)(1) states that school districts may charge a charter school a pro-rata share of the facilities costs which the school district pays for with unrestricted general fund revenues. The pro-rata share is based on the ratio of space allocated by the school district to the charter school divided by the total space of the district. Charter schools shall not be otherwise charged for use of the facilities.

The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted regulations to define key provisions such as the opportunity for districts and charter schools to develop mutually agreed upon alternatives to specific compliance with EC Section 47614. Specifically, the following California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) sections were adopted:

  • 5 CCR Section 11969.1 Purpose and Stipulation
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.2 Definitions
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.3 Conditions Reasonably Equivalent
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.4 Operations and Maintenance
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.5 Availability
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.6 Location
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.7 Charges for Facilities Costs
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.8 Reimbursement Rates for Over-Allocated Space
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.9 Procedures and Timelines for the Request for, Reimbursement for, and Provision of, Facilities
  • 5 CCR Section 11969.10 Mediation of Disputes

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Reporting Requirements

The following per-square-foot charge reporting requirements were established by 5 CCR Section 11969.7(e):

  • Each charter school that received facilities under EC Section 47614, shall report the per-square-foot charge paid in the current fiscal year, to the California Department of Education (CDE).
  • The CDE shall post the per-square foot charge on its publicly accessible website.
  • The CDE shall provide school districts the opportunity to provide additional information regarding the per-square-foot charge calculation.

The aforementioned is collected each spring by the Charter Schools Division via the Charter School Annual Information Update. However, information of all charter schools in California that are utilizing school district facilities may not be included; some charter schools that accepted school district facilities may not have completed the Charter School Annual Information Update, may not have reported their facility information, or may not have reported the information correctly. The CDE is unable to verify whether each district complied with the per-square-foot charge requirement, as described in the regulations.

Per-square-foot charge data for fiscal year 2022–23 is available at 2022–23 Per-Square-Foot Charge Reported by Charter Schools that Acquired Facilities Pursuant to EC Section 47614 (XLSX).

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Reimbursement Rates for Over-Allocated Space

Regarding reimbursement rates for over-allocated space, 5 CCR Section 11969.8(a) provides the following:

Space is considered to be over-allocated if (1) the charter school's actual in-district classroom average daily attendance (ADA) is less than the projected in-district classroom ADA upon which the facility allocation was based and (2) the difference is greater than or equal to a threshold ADA amount of 25 ADA or 10 percent of projected in-district classroom ADA, whichever is greater. The per-pupil rate for over-allocated space shall be equal to the statewide average cost avoided per pupil set pursuant to EC Section 42263 for 2005–06, adjusted annually thereafter by the CDE by the annual percentage change in the general-purpose entitlement to charter schools calculated pursuant to EC Section 47633, rounded to the next highest dollar. The reimbursement amount owed by the charter school for over-allocated space shall be equal to (1) this rate times the difference between the charter school's actual in-district classroom ADA and the projected in-district classroom ADA upon which the facility allocation was based, less (2) this rate times one-half the threshold ADA. For purposes of this subdivision, the actual in-district classroom ADA shall be determined using the report submitted pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11969.9(l) in conjunction with the second principal apportionment under EC Section 41601.

The CDE annually adjusts the per-pupil rate for over-allocated space pursuant to this section. This information is available at Per-Pupil Rate for Over-Allocated Space. Rates are updated after the close of each fiscal year.

The following is further provided by 5 CCR Section 11969.8(b):

A charter school must notify the school district when it anticipates that it will have over-allocated space that could be used by the school district. Upon notification by a charter school that the charter school anticipates having over-allocated space, a school district may elect to use the space for school district programs. The school district must notify the charter school whether or not it intends to use the over-allocated space within 30 days of the notification by the charter school. If the school district notifies the charter school that it intends to use all or a portion of the over-allocated space, payments for over-allocated space and pro rata share payments shall be reduced accordingly beginning at the time of the school district notification to use the space. If the school district notifies the charter school that it does not intend to use the space, the charter school must continue to make payments for over-allocated space and pro rata share payments. The school district may, at its sole discretion, reduce the amounts owed by the charter school.

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Questions:   Charter Schools Division | charters@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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