Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Charter School Renewal Process

Guidance on the specific laws, notification procedures, and FAQs on the renewal process.

Charter School Renewal - Requirements

Charter schools are required by law to renew the charter term by the entity that approved the charter petition for a period not to exceed five years. Charter renewals are governed by California Education Code (EC) Section 47607 and California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 5, Section 11966.4.

As part of California’s transition to a new standards-based assessments, on March 13, 2014, the State Board of Education suspended the calculation of the Academic Performance Indexes (APIs) for two years. Additionally, the California Legislature repealed EC Section 52056(a), making the API ranking of schools no longer required. As a result of these changes in the academic accountability system, the California Department of Education (CDE) provides the following guidance for charter school renewal.

Determining Pupil Academic Achievement for Purposes of Charter Renewal

The law requires that charter school authorizers consider increases in pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils served by the charter school as the most important factor in determining whether to grant a charter renewal. A charter school authorizer may make this determination by examining pupil academic achievement measures under the renewal criteria set out in EC Sections 47607(b)(4), 47607(b)(5), or 52052(e)(4).
Renewal Criteria under EC Section 47607(b)

Before it can be considered for renewal, a charter school that has been in operation for four years shall meet at least one of four criteria outlined in EC Section 47607(b):

  • Criterion 1: Attained its Academic Performance Index (API) growth target in the prior year or in two of the last three years, both schoolwide and for all groups of pupils served by the charter school.
  • Criterion 2: Ranked in deciles 4 to 10, inclusive, on the API in the prior year or in two of the last three years.
  • Criterion 3: Ranked in deciles 4 to 10, inclusive, on the API for a demographically comparable school API in the prior year or in two of the last three years.

Due to the suspension of the API, and because the API ranking of schools is no longer required, Criteria 1, 2, and 3 are not applicable to charter renewals at this time.

If a charter school can provide academic achievement data that is comparable to data used to measure academic achievement in demographically similar pupil populations as comparison schools, an authorizer may use EC Section 47607(b)(4):

  • Criterion 4: The entity that granted the charter determines that the academic performance of the charter school is at least equal to the academic performance of the public schools pupils that the charter school pupils would otherwise have been required to attend, as well as the academic performance of the schools in the school district in which the charter school is located, taking into account the composition of the pupil population that is served at the charter school.

As outlined in EC Section 47607(b)(4)(B), the determination made pursuant to Criterion 4 shall be based upon the following:

  • Documented and clear and convincing data.
  • Pupil achievement data from assessments, including, but not limited to, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress established by Article 4 (commencing with Section 60640) of Chapter 5 of Part 33 for demographically similar pupil populations in the comparison schools.
  • Information submitted by the charter school.

Notification Requirements to CDE

After the governing body of the local educational agency (LEA) has approved the renewal for a charter school, the LEA must provide timely notification to the CDE pursuant to EC Section 47604.32(e). The following documents are required:

  • The Academic Performance Determination Form (PDF) signed by the Superintendent of the authorizing local educational agency (LEA).
  • Written notice (board minutes of the public hearing and approving the renewal of the charter) by the governing board of the authorizing LEA. The minutes need to include a statement the school has been renewed for a five year term effective from July 1, 20XX through June 30, 20XX.
  • Supporting documentation and a written summary of the basis for any determination made pursuant to the renewal including evidence that pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils served by the charter school are at least equal to the public school that the pupils would otherwise have attended.
  • Updated petition (including new legislation enacted after the charter was originally granted or last renewed) as approved by the authorizing LEA.

All materials are submitted electronically by email to CHARTERRENEWALS@cde.ca.gov. If your electronic documents are too large for email transmission please indicate that information in your renewal email and alternate arrangements will be made to accommodate file transmission.

Renewal Approved on Appeal

If the charter petition was approved on appeal by the County Office of Education or the State Board of Education, the district portion of the County-District-School (CDS) Code will need to be changed to reflect the new authorizing entity. Please contact the CDS Office via email at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov for the appropriate form.

Questions: Charter Schools Division | Charters@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Related Content
  • Administrative Functions
    Direction on administrative functions such as charter numbering, renewals, closures, and the annual information update.
Recently Posted in Charter Schools