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Work Experience Education and Work Permits

Letter Head: Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Phone number 916-319-0800

February 24, 2006

Dear District and County Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


State law establishes various requirements relating to the granting of academic credit for Work Experience Education and to the issuing of work permits. The question has arisen as to the relationship of these requirements to charter schools.

Key provisions of the Education Code (EC) place responsibility on the student (e.g., to “have” a work permit and to “receive” credit for work experience), not on the school. In addition, allowing students to enter the work environment has particular risks and benefits that need to be closely evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For each student, informed consent needs to be given by the parent or guardian. Accordingly, the California Department of Education believes that the laws pertaining to Work Experience Education and work permits apply to charter schools.

  • If a charter school wishes to grant (and have its students receive) academic credit for work experience, the school should request that a school district (typically the charter’s authorizer) include the charter in the district’s state-approved Work Experience Education plan. State-approved Work Experience Education plans incorporate the relevant provisions of law.
  • If a charter school has an official qualified and willing to accept responsibility for the issuance of work permits, the charter school should request the appropriate authorization (to issue work permits) from the superintendent of the school district in which the affected charter school students reside, pursuant to EC Section 49110 [] External link opens in new window or tab..

If you have any questions regarding Work Experience Education or work permits, please contact Kimberly Born, Consultant, Regional Occupational Centers and Workforce Development Office, at 916-319-0480 or by e-mail at If you have any questions regarding charter schools, please contact the Charter Schools Division at 916-322-6029 or by e-mail at


William J. Ellerbee, Jr., Deputy Superintendent
School and District Operations Branch


Last Reviewed: Monday, May 8, 2017

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