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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 15, 2023

Dear County and District Superintendents, Special Education Local Plan Area Directors, Special Education Administrators at County Offices, Special Education Program Directors, Nonpublic School Directors, and WorkAbility I Program Coordinators:

WorkAbility I 2023–24 On-Campus Business Guidance

On January 24, 2023, the California Department of Education (CDE) provided guidance to WorkAbility I (WAI) grantees regarding a temporary expansion of on-campus placement opportunities. Continuing through fiscal year 2023–24, the CDE will allow local education agencies (LEAs) to temporarily increase the number of on-campus work experience placements offered through student business opportunities from five percent to fifteen percent of the total number of required placements for which a grantee receives funding. This temporary increase supports the intent of on-campus placements, which is to provide initial work experience opportunities for students that lead to competitive integrated employment.

The CDE has developed this Guide for On-Campus Student Business Plan to assist WAI grantees in the development of a business plan for a WAI on-campus student business that provides eligible students with on-campus placement opportunities. Grantees that have created or plan to create an on-campus student business must adhere to all requirements set forth by their LEA and the AO-400 WAI Grant Award Notification (GAN) conditions.

Please note that WAI grant funds may be used for start-up costs to create a new student business or expand the scope of an existing business.

On-Campus Student Business Information

The following are required areas for WAI grantees to address in the development of their on-campus student business plan:

  1. Name of Business
  2. Location of Business
  3. Hours of Operation
  4. Purpose of Business (Mission Statement)
  5. Who are the business customers?
  6. Criteria for student participation (i.e., who are the students, who will participate)
  7. Duration of student participation
  8. Criteria for student success
  9. Student wages earned
  10. How does the proposed on-campus business provide skills which lead to competitive integrated employment?
  11. How are students evaluated?
  12. What career clusters are addressed by this business?
  13. What WAI Array of Services are addressed?
  14. What staff / positions are required to run the business? (Please include cost/funding source for staff)
  15. What are the costs to start-up and run the business?
  16. How will the business be able to financially sustain itself?
  17. Are there any assets that can presently be used for the start-up of the business? (e.g., existing equipment)
  18. Any other information relevant to the on-campus student business?

Per grant condition number 24 of the fiscal year 2023–24 WAI GAN, WAI grantees who elect to create an on-campus student business using their WAI grant funds shall submit a business plan to the CDE for reference. WAI grantees should keep completed on-campus student business plans on file, as well as any business plans for pre-existing student businesses, and be prepared to submit them to the CDE upon request.

If you have additional questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact the WorkAbility I inbox at

Shiyloh Becerril, Interim Director
Special Education Division
SB: nw

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 15, 2023
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