With November quickly approaching, school districts will soon be receiving facilities requests from charter schools within their boundaries. The annual request cycle for charter schools seeking district facilities starts November 1 each year. School districts with charter schools operating in their boundaries may be obligated to provide facilities for charter school students under what is commonly referred to as “Proposition 39.”
Proposition 39 obligates a school district to provide facilities sufficient to house the in-District ADA of a seat-based charter school operating in its boundaries, as long as the charter school reasonably projects enrollment of at least 80 in-District ADA. This is true even if the charter was granted by another agency. Facilities offered under Proposition 39 must be contiguous, furnished and equipped, and must be reasonably equivalent to district schools that the charter school students would have otherwise attended. Detailed regulations defining the key terms and timelines of Proposition 39 commence at section 11969.1 of title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
Deadlines during the request cycle for facilities are as follows:
|November 1||Charter school must submit its properly documented, written request for facilities.|
|December 1||District must provide written objections to charter school’s ADA projections, if any, and offer its own statement of reasonable ADA projections.|
|January 1||Charter school must respond to district’s objections to its ADA projections.|
|February 1||District must provide its preliminary space proposal, including a description of all conditions pertaining to the use of the space.|
|March 1||Charter school must respond to district’s preliminary proposal, including description of concerns and counter proposals.|
|April 1||District must provide final notification of space to the charter school, including ADA projections and specific allocations for various space.|
|May 1||Charter school must provide written intent to occupy or not occupy the offered space.|
School districts expecting facilities requests from charter schools should begin preparing now, as new Court guidance may require amendments to past formulas for determining classroom allocation. (California Charter Schools Assn. v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist. (2015) 60 Cal.4th 1221.)
Dannis Woliver Kelley’s Charter Schools Practice Group has been advising districts on facility obligations since the inception of these laws. If you need more information about this process, we invite you to attend one of our two upcoming free Charter Consortiums. These seminars are an opportunity for you to meet with our experts, get your legal questions answered, and network with similarly situated colleagues. Click here for more information about these seminars. We look forward to seeing you.