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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 3, 2021

Charter School Superintendents, County and District Superintendents, and County and District Chief Business Officers:

NONCLASSROOM-BASED CHARTER SCHOOLS DETERMINATION OF FUNDING REQUESTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021–22

The purpose of this letter is to provide information regarding funding determination requests for charter schools operating under a nonclassroom-based (NCB) instructional setting. Specifically, this letter contains important details about changes to the funding determination request process for fiscal year (FY) 2021–22.

California Education Code (EC) Section 47612.5(e)(1) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) Section 11963 specify the requirements for classroom-based instruction and school site conditions. A charter school is considered operating as an NCB charter school if its total average daily attendance (ADA) is less than 80 percent classroom based. An NCB charter school must submit a funding determination request to the California Department of Education (CDE) and receive approval of its funding determination request from the State Board of Education (SBE) to be eligible for funding for its NCB ADA. The request is made by completing the NCB Funding Determination Form, which is located on the CDE NCB Determination of Funding web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/nclrbifunddet.asp.

Important Information Specific to Fiscal Year 2021–22

Existing Charter Schools

Existing charter schools that have not previously had a funding determination and that are offering NCB instruction (i.e., independent study) for FY 2021–22 are required to obtain an approved funding determination from the SBE to receive Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding for their NCB ADA. This is only applicable if the school’s classroom-based ADA falls below the 80 percent minimum in accordance with EC Section 47612.5(e)(1).

For further information on this matter, please review the CDE’s prior communication on August 13, 2021, at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/cbfdltrfy2122.asp.

Existing Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools

To continue to receive funding for NCB ADA, existing NCB charter schools whose funding determination expires at the end of FY 2021–22 must submit a funding determination request by June 30, 2022. Audited data from FY 2020–21 should be used to complete the NCB Funding Determination Form.

These charter schools shall receive their current funding level for two years upon the timely submission of a complete funding determination request, pursuant to Senate Bill 820 Section 75. Please note that either the charter school or the CDE may request that the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) or the SBE consider a higher or lower funding level pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11963.6 or 11963.7.

Approval of Funding Determination Requests by the State Board of Education

EC sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and 5 CCR established the criteria for the review and evaluation of determination of funding requests for NCB charter schools. Normally, NCB funding determination requests are reviewed by the CDE and presented to the ACCS. Both the CDE and ACCS recommendations are then presented to the SBE for final approval. This remains the case for existing charter schools that have not previously had a funding determination and are offering, and requesting funding for, NCB instruction in FY 2021–22.

However, funding determination renewal requests from existing NCB charter schools whose funding determinations expire at the end of FY 2021–22 do not require SBE approval; therefore, these requests will not be heard by the SBE. However, if either the CDE or the charter school requests a higher or lower level of funding, the CDE will present the request to the ACCS and SBE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to NCB funding determinations for FY 2021–22 are available on the CDE SB 98 and SB 820 Frequently Asked Questions web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/sb820faqs.asp.

Mitigating Circumstances

Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11963.4(a), an NCB charter school may qualify for a funding determination of 70 percent, 85 percent, 100 percent, or be denied a funding determination. However, a charter school that does not meet the criteria for its requested funding determination may choose to submit mitigating circumstances (MC) for the ACCS to recommend otherwise. Pursuant to 5 CCR Section 11963.4(e), the ACCS may find a “reasonable basis” by which to make a recommendation other than one that results from the criteria specified in 5 CCR Section 11963.4(a). The criteria specified in 5 CCR Section 11963.4(a) is available to be viewed on the Thomson Reuters Westlaw California Code of Regulations web site at https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/I30BBF3E0D48011DEBC02831C6D6C108E External link opens in new window or tab..

A charter school choosing to submit a request to consider MC is required to complete Section VI of the NCB Funding Determination Form. In previous years, the CDE had a separate form for providing MC. The separate MC form is no longer available and has been consolidated into the NCB Funding Determination Form. MC explanations must include, if any, documented data regarding the individual and specific circumstances; factors that are unique about the charter school; an explanation of why the charter school failed to meet the 5 CCR requirements for funding; and an explanation of the specific actions taken by the charter school to meet the funding criteria. The CDE may request additional information from the charter school in support of its MC submission.

Existing NCB charter schools whose funding determination expires at the end of FY 2021–22 are not required to provide MC to continue receiving their current level of funding. However, because the CDE continues to review each school’s submission and may recommend to the ACCS and SBE to consider a higher or lower funding level, the school may still wish to provide MC should they fail to meet the spending criteria for a recommendation of 100 percent funding.

Filing Deadlines and Submission Instructions

The due dates to file a determination of funding request with the CDE are as follows:

  • Existing charter schools that have not previously had a funding determination and are requesting funding for FY 2021–22 do not have a statutory deadline to submit the funding determination request. However, in order to be heard timely by the SBE, the CDE recommends that funding determination requests be filed as follows:
    • In order for its request to be heard by the March 9–10, 2022, SBE meeting, the school shall file on or before December 1, 2021.
    • In order for its request to be heard by the May 18–19, 2022, SBE meeting, the school shall file on or before February 1, 2022.
  • Existing NCB charter schools with an approved funding determination that will expire at the end of FY 2021–22 shall file on or before June 30, 2022, pursuant to SB 820 Section 75.

Information and instructions for completing the NCB Funding Determination Form are available on the CDE Nonclassroom-Based Determination of Funding web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/nclrbifunddet.asp.

The CDE will consider a filing as timely and complete when the completed and signed electronic copy of the funding determination request is received by email at Charter-SB740@cde.ca.gov by the applicable due dates. A signed hard copy of the NCB Funding Determination Form is not required to be submitted.

Untimely Submissions

Existing Charter Schools

As previously stated, existing charter schools that have not previously had a funding determination and are requesting funding for FY 2021–22 do not have a statutory deadline to submit the funding determination form. However, charter schools may experience significant fiscal impacts to their LCFF funding if funding determination requests are not submitted timely. Schools that fail to obtain a funding determination by the May 18–19, 2022, SBE meeting, will be ineligible to receive funding for their NCB ADA for the 2021–22 Second Principal (P-2) Apportionment. Any funding withheld at P-2 will not be adjusted until the following FY P-1 certified in February 2023.

For further information on this matter, please review the CDE’s prior communication on August 13, 2021, at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/cbfdltrfy2122.asp.

Existing Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools

Existing NCB charter schools whose NCB funding determinations expire at the end of FY 2021–22 and who submit a request to renew their funding determination after the June 30, 2022, deadline shall receive 85 percent funding for two years for their NCB ADA. Failure to submit a complete funding determination request to the CDE shall result in the school receiving zero funding for its NCB ADA until the complete funding determination request is submitted. It is not required for these schools to obtain a waiver from the SBE to submit a late request.

Local Control Funding Formula Impact

There may be a significant fiscal impact to an NCB charter school’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding if a determination of funding request is not submitted timely.

  • Existing charter schools that have not previously had a funding determination and are requesting funding for FY 2021–22 must have a funding determination request approved by the SBE by its January 2022 meeting. If the school fails to do so, beginning with the First Principal (P-1) Apportionment for the FY 2021–22, the CDE will not disburse LCFF funds to the new charter school for any of its NCB ADA. In order to receive disbursement of LCFF funds for NCB ADA for P-2, the funding determination request must be approved by the SBE by its May 2022 meeting.
  • An existing NCB charter school with an approved funding determination that will expire at the end of FY 2021–22 shall file on or before June 30, 2022, to receive its current level of funding, or shall file on or before January 31, 2023, to receive 85 percent funding. If the school fails to do so, beginning with the P-1 for the FY 2022–23, the CDE will not disburse LCFF funds to the charter school for any of its NCB ADA. In order to receive disbursement of LCFF funds for NCB ADA for P-2, the funding determination request must be submitted to the CDE by May 31, 2023.

Additional information about the Principal Apportionment processes and timelines can be found on the CDE Fiscal Calendars web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/ca/fc.

Further questions regarding the implications to LCFF funding should be directed to the School Fiscal Services Division by email at PASE@cde.ca.gov.

Contact Information

Please direct all questions regarding the funding determination submission process or the completion of the NCB Funding Determination Form to the Charter Schools Division by phone at 916-322-6029 or by email at Charter-SB740@cde.ca.gov.

Please direct all questions pertaining to LCFF funding to the School Fiscal Services Division by email at PASE@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

/s/

Stephanie Farland, Director
Charter Schools Division

SF:jy

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 3, 2021
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