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Charter School Renewals

Guidance and information on specific laws and procedures of the charter school renewal process.
Important Notice

Effective July 1, 2021, all charter schools whose term expires on or between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2025, shall have their term extended by two years pursuant to California Education Code Section 47607.4 External link opens in new window or tab.. The Charter Schools Division has automatically updated the charter term for charter schools impacted by this extension. To view the expiration date of a charter school, visit the Charter School Database. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Charter Schools Division at charterrenewals@cde.ca.gov.

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State Board of Education-Authorized Charter School Renewals

California Education Code (EC) Section 47605.9(b) allows a current State Board of Education (SBE)-authorized charter school to continue operating under the SBE's oversight until its charter term expires. At that time, if the charter school is renewed by the SBE, then the SBE must delegate the chartering authority to either the district or county where the charter school is located.

After the chartering authority has been delegated by the SBE, the charter school will need to update its chartering authority under the California School Directory by completing the Change in Authorizing District for a Charter School application, which is available at Application for a CDS Code.

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Operating Outside School District Jurisdiction

Assembly Bill 1507 [Chaptered 487, Statutes of 2019] amended EC Section 47605.1, and requires charter school sites and resource centers to be located within the boundaries of the chartering authority. An existing charter school located outside the chartering authority boundaries may continue to operate the resource center, meeting space, or other satellite facility until the charter school submits a request for the renewal of its charter petition. To continue operating in the existing location, before submitting the request to the charter school’s chartering authority for the renewal of the charter petition, the charter school must first obtain approval in writing from the school district where the resource center, meeting space, or other satellite facility is operating.

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Notification and Required Documentation

Under EC Section 47604.32(e) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 11962.1, a chartering authority is to provide timely notification to the California Department of Education (CDE) after approving the renewal of a charter school.

The renewal of a charter school must be documented by an official action (e.g., board minutes, board resolution, signed letter from superintendent, etc.) of the chartering authority. Notice of the renewal approval must be submitted electronically by email to charterrenewals@cde.ca.gov prior to the expiration of the charter term. In order for the CDE to process the renewed charter term, the following documents are required:

  • Charter School Renewal Cover Sheet (PDF) signed by the Superintendent of the chartering authority.
  • Written notice (e.g., board minutes of the public hearing approving the renewal of the charter) by the governing board of the chartering authority. The minutes need to include a statement that the charter school has been renewed for a XX-year term effective from July 1, XXXX, through June 30, XXXX.
  • Updated petition (including new legislation enacted after the charter school was originally granted or last renewed) as approved by the chartering authority.
  • If the status of the charter school is low performing, a copy of the written plan adopted by the governing body of the charter school as stated under EC Section 47607.2(a)(3)(A).

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Change of Chartering Authority

If the renewal of the charter school was approved by a chartering authority other than the original chartering authority, the charter school will need to update its chartering authority under the California School Directory by completing the Change in Authorizing District for a Charter School application, which is available at Application for a County-District- School (CDS) Code.

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Renewal Criteria

Pursuant to EC Sections 47607 and 47607.2

The criteria for charter school renewals have changed substantially under AB 1505 [Chaptered 486, Statutes of 2019]. Renewals are now evaluated depending in part on a charter school's placement under the performance categories, which is based on the charter school's performance under the California School Dashboard (Dashboard). Under this new criteria, a charter school is placed into one of the three performance level categories:

  • High: A charter school with Blue and Green across all Dashboard indicators demonstrating a strong performance and closing the achievement gap for historically disadvantaged subgroups has a presumptive renewal. A charter school in this category is eligible for a five-, six-, or seven-year renewal term.
  • Middle: A charter school that meets neither the High nor Low performance levels is automatically placed in the Middle performance category. A charter school in this category may be renewed for a five-year term.
  • Low: A charter school with Red and Orange across all Dashboard indicators has a presumptive non-renewal. It is presumed that a charter school in the Low performance category will not be renewed unless there is compelling evidence that the charter school is taking meaningful steps to address the underlying cause or causes of low performance. (See renewal criteria for charter schools identified as low performing below for further guidance.) A charter school in this category may be renewed for a two-year term if it meets the conditions under EC Section 47607.2(a)(4).
A list of charter schools and their respective performance categories, as determined by the criteria outlined under EC sections 47607(c)(2)(A), 47607.2(a), and 47607.2(b), as well as additional information on the criteria that determined the performance categories, are provided under Charter School Performance Categories at Legislation Impacting Charters.

For Charter Schools Identified as Low Performing

The criteria governing the renewal of a low performing charter school are described under EC sections 47607.2(a)(4)(A) and (B), and sunset on January 1, 2026. The purpose of this additional review process is to allow a charter school identified as low performing to present clear and convincing evidence to demonstrate that it is helping to increase student learning and postsecondary success. A chartering authority is to use verified data, as defined per EC Section 47607.2(c), as a means to show that a charter school has achieved measurable increases in academic achievement. Under EC Section 47607.2(a)(1), a chartering authority may renew a charter school that has been identified as low performing by composing written factual findings specifying evidence of the following:

  • (A) The charter school is making meaningful steps to address the underlying cause or causes of low performance, and those steps are reflected, or will be reflected, in a written plan adopted by the governing body of the charter school, pursuant to EC Section 47607.2(a)(3)(4).
  • (B) There is clear and convincing evidence that the charter school achieved measurable increases in academic achievement, pursuant to EC Section 47607.2(a)(3)(B).

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Statewide Assessment and Testing

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.. The relevant portions of those sections are listed below:

  • 47605(d)(1): Charter schools shall meet all statewide standards and conduct the pupil assessments required pursuant to Section 60605 and any other statewide standards authorized in statute or pupil assessments applicable to pupils in noncharter public schools.
  • 47607(2)(A)(i): The charter school has received the two highest performance levels schoolwide on all the state indicators included in the evaluation rubrics adopted pursuant to Section 52064.5 for which it receives performance levels.
  • 47607(2)(A)(ii): For all measurements of academic performance, the charter school has received performance levels schoolwide that are the same or higher than the state average and, for a majority of subgroups performing statewide below the state average in each respective year, received performance levels that are higher than the state average.
  • 47607.2 (a)(1)(A): The charter school has received the two lowest performance levels schoolwide on all the state indicators included in the evaluation rubrics adopted pursuant to Section 52064.5 for which it receives performance levels.
  • 47607.2 (a)(1)(B): For all measurements of academic performance, the charter school has received performance levels schoolwide that are the same or lower than the state average and, for a majority of subgroups performing statewide below the state average in each respective year, received performance levels that are lower than the state average.
  • 47612.5(a): Notwithstanding any other provision of law and as a condition of apportionment, a charter school shall do all of the following:
    • Offer, at a minimum, the same number of minutes of instruction set forth in section (a)(1)(A) through (D) for the appropriate grade levels.
    • Maintain written contemporaneous records that document all pupil attendance and make these records available for audit and inspection.
    • Certify that its pupils have participated in the state testing programs specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 60600) of Part 33 in the same manner as other pupils attending public schools as a condition of apportionment of state funding.

Additional information regarding statewide testing and assessments is available at California Assessment of Student Performance & Progress (CAASPP) System.

Historical information regarding statewide testing and assessments is provided below::

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Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) Schools

The Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) program replaces the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) and holds alternative schools accountable for alternative accountability indicators incorporated in the California School Dashboard based on the charter school’s pupil population served as well as the alternative metrics mutually agreed upon between the chartering authority and the charter school per EC Section 47607(c)(7). A DASS school, which cannot qualify for the High, Middle, or Low performance categories, has their own renewal criteria and is not included in the Charter School Performance Category Data File. To determine if a school is participating in the DASS program, download the Current DASS Schools data file posted at Active DASS Schools.

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.

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Substantial Fiscal or Governance Factors, and Student Admission

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.

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Enrollment 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.

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Verified Data

EC Section 47607.2(c)(2) requires the SBE by January 1, 2021, to establish criteria to define verified data and identify an approved list of valid and reliable assessments. The SBE, at their November 2020 meeting, approved the criteria to define verified data as well as a list of valid and reliable assessments, and measures of postsecondary outcomes. The approved list is effective until January 1, 2026. No data sources other than those adopted by the SBE can be used by a chartering authority as verified data. Detailed information regarding this topic is available at Verified Data.

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Questions:   Charter Schools Division | charterrenewals@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 9, 2021
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