What Charter Leaders and Authorizers Should Know: Interpreting State Renewal Guidance

On October 13, charter school administrators and authorizers received the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Updates on Data for Charter School Appeals and Renewals letter regarding upcoming charter renewals, which restart in 2023 after a two-year extension of most charter terms. This post supplements the CDE letter to convey important points of law and to add vital details omitted in the letter.

The CDE letter has the most relevance to charter schools presenting renewal petitions next year, but other charter schools may also benefit from important clarifications below. The letter and this article are not relevant to charter schools approved as Dashboard Alternative Status Schools (DASS), however.

The renewal standards and process are extremely complex. Given suspension of testing in 2020 and 2021 and impacts of the pandemic on learning there is considerable room for misunderstanding. CSDC is concerned about the lack of knowledge in the field and how misunderstandings may shape charter school renewals.  CSDC continues to encourage charter schools to ensure that their leadership takes steps to understand how to safeguard renewal and plan accordingly.


Enacted in 2019, AB 1505 established four sets of standards to govern charter renewals, as referenced in the CDE letter. Three set of standards apply to those charter schools not classified as DASS. A “safe” track provides...

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