School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Does the state have charter schools?

Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?


"On and after July 1, 2019, a petitioner that submits a charter petition or a charter school that submits a charter renewal or material revision application shall not operate as, or be operated by, a for-profit corporation, a for-profit educational management organization, or a for-profit charter management organization."

47604. (b)

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?


"In the 1998–99 school year, the maximum total number of charter schools authorized to operate in this state shall be 250. In the 1999–2000 school year, and in each successive school year thereafter, an additional 100 charter schools are authorized to operate in this state each successive school year."

47602. a (1)

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Did not find-

We did not find information about charter school transportation requirements in California statutes. Additionally, Education Commission of the States states that California does not specify who must provide transportation to charter school students.

Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?


"Teachers in charter schools shall hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold."

47605 (I)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?


From January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2022, the approval of charter schools offering nonclassroom-based (NCB) instruction, including virtual schools, is prohibited.

47612.7. (a)
CA DOE: Temporary Prohibition on New NCB Charter Schools

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Does the state have voucher programs?


No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?


No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?


"The governing board of a school district may elect to operate the school district as a school district of choice and may accept transfers from school districts of residence pursuant to this article."

Also, "the parent of a pupil enrolled in a low-achieving school may submit an application for the pupil to attend a school in a school district of enrollment pursuant to this article."

48301. (a) (1)
48354. (a)

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?


"Upon request of the pupil’s parent, each school district of choice...may provide to the pupil transportation assistance to that school or program, to the extent that the school district otherwise provides transportation assistance to pupils."


Page last updated: July 2024

Click here to download the State Policy Spreadsheet. Click here to download the State Policy Map Data Memo.

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The State Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes in fall 2019; data checks continued through December 2020. Information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. The State Policy Map does not systematically reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Links to third-party websites are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.

Note: On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from the state's tax credit scholarship program was unconstitutional (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue 591). The responses to the question "Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?" were collected before this ruling and therefore do not reflect any changes resulting from the Espinoza decision.