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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
August 4, 2021

Dear County and District Superintendents, Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:

Updated Guidance for Awarding the State Seal of Biliteracy, 2021–22

The California Department of Education (CDE) will continue to award the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) during the 2021–22 school year. As always, local educational agencies (LEAs) may order insignias through the online Insignia Request Form located under the Procedures, Requirements, and Forms tab on the CDE SSB web page at

The requirements for earning the SSB, codified in California Education Code (EC) Section 51461 at, have been amended for the 2021–22 school year in response to spring 2021 testing flexibility. In March 2021, the California State Board of Education (SBE) voted to give California school districts the opportunity to use either state tests or other standards-aligned assessments to gauge student learning during the spring 2021 summative assessment administration. The SSB requirements for 2022 graduates who took the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) or another standards-aligned assessment during the 2020–21 school year in grade 11 have been amended in response to this flexibility.

This guidance is based on the TK-12 Public Education Omnibus Budget Trailer bill, Assembly Bill 130, signed by the governor on July 9, 2021, which included various statutory changes, including the addition of EC Section 51461(f). The new statutory language affects the requirement to demonstrate English proficiency for the SSB by passing the CAASPP English language arts at the “standard met” level or above. For 2022 graduates who attended schools opting to administer another standards-aligned assessment rather than the CAASPP during the 2020–21 school year, that assessment may be used to demonstrate proficiency in English provided the assessment meets the criteria adopted by the SBE (EC Section 51461[f]).

The guidance regarding updated requirements for the 2021–22 school year is available under the heading, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the CDE SSB FAQs web page at

The guidance regarding the requirements for assessments that LEAs were able to use in place of the CAASPP for the 2021 spring summative assessment administration is available on the CDE COVID-19 Assessment FAQs web page at

If you have questions regarding the SSB, contact Gina Garcia-Smith, Education Programs Consultant, Multilingual Support Division, by phone at 916-319-0265 or by email at



Sarah Neville-Morgan, Deputy Superintendent
Opportunities for All Branch


Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 12, 2021

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