CCSA Answers: Receiving Credit for Emergency Days When Determining ADA (Drought Update)

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March 27, 2014

Question: Recently, the state of California's drought has resulted in lower daily attendance in some schools, reflecting students whose families can no longer find work on the farms and ranches of the Central Valley. This month, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the addition of the drought to the list of emergency conditions for which public schools throughout California can receive credit. How can charter schools receive credit for emergency days when determining average daily attendance (ADA)?

Answer: The California Education Code allows the State Superintendent of Public School Instruction to authorize ADA credit for the days that schools are closed due to emergencies. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including direct-funded charter schools, may also receive ADA credit for all purposes, and instructional time credit for the days and minutes lost due to an emergency closure. Approval of school closures must be obtained by submitting three copies of Form J-13A: Request for Allowance of Attendance Because of Emergency Conditions (www.cde.ca.gov/fg/sf/aa/documents/formj13a.doc).

To prevent mandatory school closure from reducing ADA, charter schools should deduct approved emergency days from the days in the reporting period divisor, when calculating ADA. Thus, schools report their ADA only for those days on which they actually operated classes, and do not include the zero attendance days during the closure. As a result, the days on which the school was closed will not reduce the average attendance quotient.

Charter schools and school districts will be credited with the emergency days towards the requirements to maintain school for 170 or 185 days. The regularly scheduled minutes of instruction for those days are counted toward the annual minutes requirement for the "longer day and year."

In this way, no school will be penalized for emergencies.

Additional context, is available in "Revenue Sources for your School" on ccsa.org

Find more reference materials, resources and templates in our online Charter School Resource Library. Still can't find what you need? Contact the CCSA Help Desk with your question.