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Charter Schools

October 28, 2015

The WCIRB often receives questions regarding the classifications applicable to charter schools. Since 1992, California law allows local school boards, and in some limited circumstances county boards of education and the state board of education, to authorize charter schools. There are currently over 1,000 charter schools in California. While some charter school operations may resemble those of a private school and most charter schools are operated by private, non-profit organizations, charter schools are in fact public schools and, as such, are classified as 8875(1), Public Colleges or Schools, rather than 8868/9101, Colleges or Schools – private.

As public schools, charter schools must be non-sectarian, tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend. Their fiscal operations and compliance are overseen by their public entity authorizer, most often local school districts. Like other public schools, charter schools are funded under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which allocates state and local tax dollars to public education agencies based on the number of pupils in each grade level. Charter schools also participate in the state’s accountability system, including annual state-produced school report cards, which show academic performance on the state assessments.

Classification 8875(1) was amended effective January 1, 2016 to clarify its intended application and provide direction as to how related operations shall be classified. As shown below, Classification 8875(1) now clearly provides that it applies to charter schools. 


PUBLIC COLLEGES OR SCHOOLS – all employees – including cafeteria, Clerical Office Employees and Outside Salespersons

This classification applies to all operations of public colleges or schools, including but not limited to instruction, dormitories, cafeterias, book stores, transportation services, counseling, building and landscape maintenance, janitorial, libraries, athletic programs, parking, security, administration, clerical office employees and outside salespersons. This classification includes before or after school care programs operated by public colleges or schools.

This classification also applies to the operation of charter schools.

This classification also applies to state or county vocational training programs and to school counselors who are provided to public schools by separate concerns under contract.

The operation of private colleges or schools shall be classified as 8868, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – professors, teachers, or academic professionals employees, and 9101, Colleges or Schools – private – not automobile schools – all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees.

The operation of before or after school programs by separate employers at public school locations shall be classified as 9059, Day Care Centers


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