California

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Yes:

California Education Code allows for charter schools.

EDUCATION CODE - EDC PART 26.8. CHARTER SCHOOLS [47600 - 47663]

Are for-profit charters allowed?

No:

"On and after July 1, 2019, a petitioner that submits a charter petition or a charter school that submits a charter renewal or material revision application shall not operate as, or be operated by, a for-profit corporation, a for-profit educational management organization, or a for-profit charter management organization."

47604. (b) (1)

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Yes:

"In the 1998–99 school year, the maximum total number of charter schools authorized to operate in this state shall be 250. In the 1999–2000 school year, and in each successive school year thereafter, an additional 100 charter schools are authorized to operate in this state each successive school year."

47602. a (1)

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Did not find:

We did not find information about charter school transportation requirements in California statutes. Additionally, Education Commission of the States states that California does not specify who must provide transportation to charter school students.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

No:

"Teachers in charter schools shall hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold."

47605 (I)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Did not find:

From Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison: "State law defines a 'virtual or online charter school' as a charter school in which 80% or more of teacher and pupil interaction occurs via the Internet. However, this provision is scheduled to sunset effective January 1, 2018."

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

No:

No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

No:

No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes:

"The governing board of a school district may elect to operate the school district as a school district of choice and may accept transfers from school districts of residence pursuant to this article."

Also, "the parent of a pupil enrolled in a low-achieving school may submit an application for the pupil to attend a school in a school district of enrollment pursuant to this article."

48301. (a) (1)
48354. (a)

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Unclear:

"Upon request of the pupil’s parent, each school district of choice...may provide to the pupil transportation assistance to that school or program, to the extent that the school district otherwise provides transportation assistance to pupils."

48311

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.