Frequently Asked Questions

Proposition 39 (“Prop. 39”) is a state law passed by California voters in 2000, which requires school districts to make facilities (including both classroom and non-classroom spaces) available to public charter schools serving students who reside in the district.

Prior to the voters’ passage of Prop. 39, school districts were only required to permit charter schools to use, at no charge, facilities not being used by the school district for instructional or administrative purposes, or that were historically used for rental purposes.v

After the passage of Prop. 39, each school district must make available, to each eligible charter school operating in the district, facilities sufficient for the charter school to accommodate all of its in-district students in conditions reasonably equivalent to those in which the students would be accommodated if they were attending other public schools of the district.

No.  Prop. 39 only requires school districts to make facilities available for a charter school’s in-district students.  A student is an “in-district student” if he or she is entitled to attend the schools of the school district, unless his/her eligibility is based on an inter-district transfer or parental employment.

Prop. 39 requires school districts to share facilities with charter schools on a year-to-year basis, through an annual allocation process specific to each school year.

Click here for the Prop. 39 Timeline.  

In compliance with the Prop. 39 implementing regulations, a charter school’s Prop. 39 facilities request must provide information regarding the district school site and/or general geographic area in which it wishes to locate.  The school district must make reasonable efforts to provide facilities near to where the charter school wishes to locate.

Under the Prop. 39 law, each year each charter school desiring facilities from a school district in which it is operating must provide the school district with a reasonable projection of the charter school’s average daily classroom attendance (“ADA”) by in-district students for the following year.  A school district provides space to a charter school sufficient to accommodate reasonable projections of in-district classroom ADA for the proximate school year.

 In order to determine the number of classrooms each charter school would be entitled to exclusively use, the ratio of classrooms provided to ADA at each charter school's comparison group schools is calculated. A charter school’s “comparison group schools” are District schools with similar grade levels in the area where most of the charter school students reside.  The ratio is then applied to a charter school's accepted ADA projections to determine a charter school’s exclusive-use classroom allocation.

Proposition 39 requires a school district to provide charter schools with access to specialized classroom space and non-classroom space in addition to the instructional classrooms exclusively used by charter schools.  This “shared use” space is shared proportionately with the charter school.  The percentage for charter school use is calculated based on the ratio of the total Charter School exclusive use of teaching stations vs. total District school exclusive use teaching stations.

Beginning in August of each year, District staff conducts a comprehensive analysis of the use of District school facilities through a process called “E-CAR.”  The purpose of E-CAR is to assess the capacity of each District K-12 school site in several respects, such as the number of classrooms, the manner in which those classrooms are used, and the school’s operating capacity.  The E-CAR process entails a detailed review of the present use of District school sites and an analysis of the projected future uses of those facilities.  The analysis includes reporting of data by individual schools, which is analyzed by District staff to, among other things, confirm accuracy and ensure that available space is used efficiently and uniformly evaluated throughout the District.

 

The E-CAR process involves school principals logging into a web-based application to record their school’s enrollment and review and confirm details regarding the school site’s classrooms and their respective utilization.  Within this application, classroom data is associated with a spatial database that is displayed as building floor plans. School principals identify classrooms used as teaching stations, set asides, occupied by special education programs, charter schools, preschools, adult education programs and other third party users, classrooms needed for swing space for construction projects, options programs, and other classrooms out-of-service or mandated for removal due to legal and/or safety requirements.

 

District staff then review and analyze the submissions by District schools of the school site’s classrooms and their respective utilization.  By utilizing this process, the District is able to determine specific capacity and usage information regarding each District school site. A school’s capacity involves more than its raw seats and room numbers.  The District must determine whether a school has facilities available to sufficiently serve the particular requirements of a school site, such as grade levels, classes, special education programs, magnet centers, SLCs, PLEs, legal mandates, and other student needs.

 

The District utilizes E-CAR for various space assessment purposes.  For purposes of compliance with Proposition 39, the District uses E-CAR in its analysis for making various space matching determinations, such as the amount of space to which each eligible charter school is entitled pursuant to Proposition 39, the projected utilization and potential availability of space on District campuses in the upcoming school year, and confirmation that the conditions of the facilities proposed to be allocated are reasonably equivalent.

Set asides are divided into two categories:  School set-asides and District set-asides. 

School set-asides allocate space for instructional, safety and health programs that are specific to a particular school.  School set-asides may include, for example, Title I funding coordinator offices or space allocated for a Response to Intervention (“RTI”) program. 

District set-asides allocate school space to implement key District-wide instructional, health and safety programs.  District set-asides may include, for example, space for Los Angeles School Police Department, regional special educational testing centers, health center clinics, food services, and Beyond the Bell programs, among others. 

Prop. 39 mandates that public school facilities should be shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools.  Although school and District set-asides provide space for programs that are vital to the curriculum of a particular school or to District-wide goals, some set-aside spaces may be affected as part of the District’s comprehensive deliberative process to share space fairly where doing so would minimize the number of sites offered to a charter school in order to make an offer of reasonably equivalent space as mandated by Prop. 39.  In every circumstance, the District seeks to minimize the significant resulting disruption to District schools.

In compliance with Prop. 39, District staff evaluates the average daily attendance (“ADA”) projections made by charter schools in their facilities requests to determine if they are reasonable and have sufficient supporting documentation. On December 1, letters are issued from the District to charter schools, either accepting their ADA projections or objecting and stating projections the District considers reasonable.

As required by Prop. 39, District staff performs a comparison group schools capacity and conditions analysis to ensure the facilities to be provided to a charter school are reasonably equivalent to those of students attending District schools. In order to determine the number of classrooms each charter school would be entitled to exclusively use, the ratio of classrooms provided to ADA at each charter school's comparison group schools is calculated. The ratio is then applied to a charter school's accepted ADA projections to determine a charter school’s exclusive-use classroom allocation.

Having determined charter schools' space entitlement in compliance with Prop. 39, internal matching guidelines are applied to develop provisional matches of space. The matching guidelines have been developed through continual improvement of the District's Prop. 39 matching process within the framework of the requirements under Proposition 39.

The District's matching guidelines for the 2018-19 school year are discussed in detail in Board of Education Report No. 237-17/18 (dated January 16, 2018).

The following is a link to the Report, which is publicly available on the District's website:

                http://laschoolboard.org/sites/default/files/01-16-18RegBdBR237Attsv2.pdf

 

Applying these matching guidelines, District staff develops provisional matches of space.  Provisional matches are then presented to Instructional Committees for further evaluation.  The Instructional Committees are comprised of representatives from various District divisions, Board offices, Local District offices and labor partners.  Instructional Committee meetings occur multiple times throughout the process, prior to issuing preliminary proposals and final offers of space.

At the meetings, provisional recommendations regarding potential charter school co-locations within each Local District are presented, and attendees thoughtfully discuss them as part of the District's comprehensive compliance effort.  The purpose of the meetings is to obtain additional relevant information about potential co-location sites.  This information includes potential impacts of a co-location at a particular school site or unique site conditions that might make it unsuitable for co-location. All of these perspectives are considered in an effort to make the best possible allocations of space in the best interests of all of students - both District and charter alike. The instructional committees’ recommendations are then presented to the Superintendent. 

For the 2018-19 school year, the Board of Education authorized the Superintendent to issue preliminary proposals and final offers of space, and to negotiate and execute alternative agreements in lieu of specific compliance with any of the provisions of the Prop. 39 implementing regulations, with charter schools that submitted legally sufficient facilities requests.

The District is not required to allocate facilities to a charter school that are directly adjacent to one another.  Depending on the unique circumstances of each school site, and to minimize disruptions for all programs, the District endeavors to provide exclusive use teaching stations that are immediately proximate or clustered.

The Proposition 39 implementing regulations permit a charter school and a school district to mutually agree to an alternative to specific compliance with any of the provisions of the Proposition 39 implementing regulations.

In late January, Local District leadership sends letters to District principals at school sites that have been identified for a Proposition 39 preliminary proposal.  Subsequently, the District sends letters to community stakeholders at these preliminarily matched District sites. Until April 1, the District evaluates stakeholder, charter operator, and facility concerns for each preliminary proposal prior to issuing a final offer to a charter school. 

The Local District offices that directly support District school sites continue to collaborate with school principals to provide families with timely and ongoing updates about the Proposition timeline each year. 

Under Prop. 39, the District provides charter schools co-located on District campuses with janitorial services and charges the charter schools a pro-rata share of the District’s facilities costs associated with school maintenance and operations. 

Pursuant to the Single-Year Co-location Facilities Use Agreement executed by charter schools co-locating on District campuses pursuant to Proposition 39, charter schools may elect to purchase additional custodial services on a fee-for-service basis.

No. Under Proposition 39, school districts are not permitted to charge charter schools rent. A school district may charge a charter school a pro rata share of those school district facilities costs which the school district pays for with unrestricted general fund revenues. 

The pro-rata share amount paid by a charter school is determined by multiplying the District’s annual per-square-foot facilities cost by the total exclusive and proportional shared-use space occupied by the charter school.

In allocating space to charter schools, the District thoughtfully considers impacts to all public school students, both those attending District schools and those attending charter schools requesting space and to staff, parents, and communities.  The District makes every effort to fulfill its obligation to share space fairly among all students.  In doing so, the District keeps in the forefront considerations of student safety and welfare.  The Local Districts are committed to supporting school communities to minimize disruptions and potential impacts, and address any shared use impacts, to ensure a quality educational experience is provided to all students.

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