Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Juvenile Court Program Summary

Information on program purpose, services, outcomes, funding, students served, and results for Juvenile Court Schools.


Juvenile court schools are public schools or classes in any juvenile hall, juvenile home, day center, juvenile ranch, juvenile camp, regional youth educational facility or in any group home housing 25 or more children and operating one or more additional sites under a central administration, with acceptable school structures at one or more centrally located sites to serve the single or composite populations of juvenile court school pupils.


Juvenile court schools provide an educational placement for students who are under the protection or authority of the juvenile court system and are referred and incarcerated by the juvenile court system, and include students who have been expelled from their school. County offices of education (COE) operate and provide for the administration of juvenile court schools. Juvenile court schools shall not be closed on any weekday of the calendar year, except those weekdays adopted by the County Board of Education (board) as school holidays or set aside by the board for in-service purposes. However, the board may close juvenile court schools when it deems such closing is necessary to accommodate contingencies. (California Education Code [EC] Section 48645.3)


Outcomes include: dropout prevention; recovery of out-of-school youth; increased student graduation rates for students at risk of failure of completing high school; educational, emotional, and counseling services; support for foster youth; diversion from the criminal justice system; and support for pregnant and parenting students.


The minimum school day for juvenile court schools is 240 minutes of instruction. Minimum school days shall be calculated on the basis of the average number of minutes of attendance during not more than 10 consecutive days in which classes are conducted. The minimum school day for pupils in attendance in approved vocational education and work experience programs is 180 minutes, which is calculated on the basis of the average number of minutes of attendance during no more than 10 consecutive days in which classes are conducted. Juvenile court schools are year-round schools and may not be closed on any weekday of the year, except weekdays adopted by the county board of education as school holidays or for in-service purposes. (EC Section 48645.3)

Juvenile court school average daily attendance (ADA) is funded from the State General Fund through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). County offices of education (COE) receive LCFF funding through a formula based on oversight responsibilities and instructional programs. The oversight funding amount a COE receives is based on (1) a minimum grant per county, (2) the number of school districts in the county, and (3) the ADA in the county attributable to school districts, charter schools, and schools operated by the county superintendent.

The COE instructional programs for juvenile court school pupils are funded through an alternative education grant that provides a uniform base grant based on ADA. Additionally, all juvenile court school pupils are deemed to be eligible for the supplemental and concentration grants provided for unduplicated pupils. A detailed discussion of juvenile court school funding can be found on the LCFF Overview web page.


Because of the very high mobility of the juvenile court student population, it is important to understand that the enrollment figures greatly undercount the number of students who are enrolled in a juvenile court school for any amount of time throughout the course of the entire year.

Questions:   Educational Options Office |
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 16, 2023