On June 20, 2014, the Governor signed the 2014 Budget Act and related trailer bills.
Any program changes to independent study must also match your board policy and/or administrative regulations. It is recommended that you consult with your administration and auditor before making any program changes.
Superintendent Tom Torlakson emailed a letter on July 24th, 2014 to all County and District Superintendents, Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators, and County Chief Business Officers regarding the Budget Act for 2014-2015 . (Read on to learn of the three changes to independent study effective immediately!)
Three major changes in the budget package changes some of the administrative procedures, specifically
- The duration of the IS program agreement may be up to one school year. Previous law limited program agreements to one semester.
- A signed agreement may be maintained on file electronically.
- School districts, COEs, and charter schools (local educational agencies-LEAs) are no longer required to sign and date pupil work products when assessing the time value of pupil work products for apportionment purposes.
Furthermore, Section 35 51745.(a) reads…..the ratio of average daily attendance for independent study pupils 18 years of age or less to school district full-time equivalent certificated employees responsible for independent study, for the applicable grade span, calculated as specific by the department, shall not exceed the equivalent ratio of pupils to full-time certificated employees for all other educational programs operated by the school district for the applicable grade span, unless a new higher or lower grade span ratio for all other educational programs offered within the respective grade span is negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement or a memorandum of understanding is entered into that indicates an existing collective bargaining agreement contains an alternative grade span ratio for the applicable grade span……(please refer to AB 858 Section 35 for completion information regarding ADA by grade span. )
At this point in time the CDE suggests the following for calculating the student-teacher ratio by grade span:
Districts will need to calculate an independent study ratio by grade span and a district wide ratio by grade span for comparison. ADA by grade span for independent study and ADA for non independent study by grade span should be easily known. LEAs will need to track assigned teachers and the grade spans they serve. As far as the FTE portion of the calculation is concerned, to the extent the same teacher serves more than one grade span, the FTE for that teacher will have to be reasonably prorated.
SB 858 beginning with Section 35: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0851-0900/sb_858_bill_20140620_chaptered.htm
Changes to independent study for 2015-2016 can be found in Section 38 and 39.
- On August 18, 2014