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2022–23 Changes to Independent Study

Highlights the key differences for independent study programs and schools effective July 1, 2022.

Assembly Bill 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021; approved on July 9, 2021) and AB 167 (Chapter 252, Statutes of 2021; approved on September 23, 2021) made substantive changes to independent study and, for the 2021–22 school year only, required school districts and county offices of education to offer independent study as an educational option.

The 2022–23 Governor’s Budget makes additional changes to the requirements of independent study that local educational agencies (LEAs) shall include in their adopted written policies and implement commencing with the 2022–23 school year.

The following sections of California Education Code (EC) were codified for the 2021–22 school year only and will expire on June 30, 2022:

  1. Requirement that school districts and county offices of education offer independent study. EC Section 51745(a)
  2. Allowance of 30 days after the first day of independent study participation to obtain signatures on the written agreement. EC sections 51747(g)(9)(F) and 51749.6(b)(7)
  3. Requirement to notify parents and guardians of enrolled pupils of an option to enroll in independent study. EC sections 51747(h) and 51749.6(b)(8)
  4. Eligibility to receive apportionment for pupils in independent study who cannot participate in classroom-based instruction due to quarantine and school closures due to COVID-19. EC Section 51747(j)(1). For additional information, email the Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting office at attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov.
  5. Charter school exclusion of a) attributing quarantine-based average daily attendance (ADA) for a nonclassroom-based charter school and of b) requirement to submit a request for funding determination as a result of providing independent study to quarantined pupils. EC Section 51747(j)(2). For additional information, email the Charter School Division at charters@cde.ca.gov.

The following are highlights of the changes in EC that are effective commencing the 2022–23 school year. To view the independent study statute in its entirety, visit the California Legislative Information web page, EC sections 51744–51749.6 External link opens in new window or tab..

  1. Addition of EC Section 51744 encouraging LEAs to offer more than one independent study model for short- and long-term, and supporting offering a range of quality educational options that include classroom-based, hybrid, and nonclassroom-based programs.
  2. Amendment to EC Section 51745(c) regarding pupils with exceptional needs stating, in part, that the pupil’s inability to work independently, need for adult support, or related special education services shall not preclude the individualized education program team from determining that the pupil can receive a free appropriate education in independent study.
  3. Amendment to EC Section 51747(d) requiring procedures for tiered reengagement strategies for:

    1. Pupils not generating attendance for more than 10 percent of required minimum instructional time over four continuous weeks.
    2. Pupils not participating in synchronous instructional offerings for more than 50 percent of the scheduled times in a school month as applicable by grade span.

These procedures for tiered reengagement shall also include local programs intended to address chronic absenteeism.

  1. Amendment to EC Section 51747(g)(9) regarding signatures on independent study agreement.

    1. Long-term independent study: For pupils scheduled for more than 14 school days, the written agreement shall be signed, before the commencement of independent study.
    2. Short-term independent study: For pupils scheduled for less than 15 school days, the written agreement shall be signed within 10 school days of the commencement of the first day of enrollment in independent study.
    3. As applicable, the certificated employee designated as having responsibility for the special education programming of the pupil shall also sign the written agreement.

  2. Amendment to EC Section 51747(i) excluding subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) for pupils that participate in independent study for fewer than 15 schooldays in a school year and also for pupils enrolled in a classroom-based instruction who, under the care of a licensed professional, participate in independent study due to necessary medical or in-patient treatments. The excluded requirements are:

    1. Tiered reengagement strategies
    2. Live interaction and synchronous instruction opportunities
    3. Expeditious return to in-person instruction, if requested

  3. Amendment to EC Section 51747.5(b) regarding the claiming of apportionment for traditional independent study. ADA for apportionment is based on the time value of pupil work products or a combination of time value of the work product and participation in synchronous instruction, as applicable by grade level.
  4. Addition of EC Section 51747.5(b)(2) regarding the computation of ADA. For additional information, email the Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting office at attendanceaccounting@cde.ca.gov.
Questions:   Independent Study | independentstudy@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
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