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Charter School FAQ Section 10

Frequently asked questions regarding charter school facilities requirements.

Responses to these frequently asked questions are advisory only. Charter schools and charter authorizers are encouraged to review the actual laws and regulations that provide the basis for these responses and consult with their own legal counsel regarding the application of any of these issues to a specific situation.


  1. What are the facility requirements for charter schools?

    Charter schools may use any of the following:

    • Facilities that comply with the California Building Standards Code as adopted and enforced by the local building enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the area in which the charter school is located.
    • Facilities that comply with the Field Act.
    • Facilities that are exclusively owned or controlled by an entity that is not subject to the California Building Standards Code, such as the federal government.
    • A proposed facility within two nautical miles of an existing or proposed runway must receive a review by the Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics prior to acquiring title or leasing property. The code citation and procedure is available at Proposed School Sites - Airport Runways Review.
  2. Are charter school facilities required to meet California Education Code provisions known as the Field Act?

    No. As noted in Question 1, charter schools may, but are not required to, use Field Act-compliant facilities.

  3. Does the state provide funding for charter school facilities?

    Yes, there are programs to help with the rent or lease of facilities or the construction of facilities.

    The California State Treasurer's Office - California School Finance Authority (CSFA) External link opens in new window or tab. offers the following financing programs for charter schools:

  4. Are districts required to provide facilities to charter schools?

    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.

    California Code of Regulations, Title 5 sections 11969.1 through 11969.10 address charter school use of district facilities in greater detail.

    Further information is available at Charter School Use of District Facilities.

  5. Can districts charge charter schools for facilities?

    California Education Code 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.

    California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 11969.7 addresses charges for facilities costs in greater detail.

    Further information is available at Charter School Use of District Facilities.

  6. Are charter schools required to report their facility costs? To whom should this information be reported?

    The following per-square-foot charge reporting requirements were established by California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 11969.7(e):

    • Each charter school that received facilities under California Education Code 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 the previous fiscal year is available at Charter School Use of District Facilities.

  7. Where can I find information regarding reimbursement rates for over-allocated space?

    Information regarding reimbursement rates for over-allocated space is available at Charter School Use of District Facilities.

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Questions:   Charter Schools Division | | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 25, 2023
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