(a) A school district or chartering authority may apply for authority from the Superintendent to use alternative program requirements if the district or authority demonstrates that compliance with alternative program requirements would provide a higher level of academic achievement among pupils than compliance with the interim and program requirements of this article.
(b) Alternative program requirements may be used to serve no more than 15 percent of the pupils funded pursuant to this article. Alternative programs shall serve the entire school.
(c) A school district or chartering authority may use alternative program requirements at a funded school if all the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) The proposed alternative requirements are based on reliable data and are consistent with sound scientifically based research consistent with subdivision (j) of Section 44757.5 on effective practices.
(2) The costs of complying with the proposed alternative requirements do not exceed the amount of funding received by the school district or chartering authority pursuant to this article.
(3) Funded schools agree to comply with the alternative program requirements and be subject to the termination procedures specified in subdivision (c) of Section 52055.740. Funded schools with alternative programs shall also be required to exceed the API growth target for the school averaged over the first three fully funded years and annually thereafter.
(4) The Superintendent and the president of the state board or his or her designee jointly have reviewed the proposed alternative funded schools of the school district or chartering authority for purposes of this section and have recommended to the state board for its approval those schools, using the same process as for the regular program recommendations.
(d) The Superintendent shall give priority for approval of schools with alternative programs to any school serving any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, that has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Superintendent and the president of the state board or his or her designee that the school cannot decrease class sizes as required under this article due to extraordinary issues relating to facilities, or due to the adverse impact of the requirements of this program, if implemented in the school, on the eligibility of the school district for state school facility funding.
(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch 347, Sec. 25.)