(a) If, as the result of an audit or review, a local educational agency is required to repay an apportionment significant audit exception or to pay a penalty arising from an audit exception, the Superintendent and the Director of Finance, or their designees, jointly shall establish a plan for repayment of state school funds that the local educational agency received on the basis of average daily attendance, or other data, that did not comply with statutory or regulatory requirements that were conditions of the apportionments, or for payment of a penalty arising from an audit exception. A local educational agency shall request a plan within 90 days of receiving the final audit report or review, within 30 days of withdrawing or receiving a final determination regarding an appeal pursuant to subdivision (d), or, in the absence of an appeal pursuant to subdivision (d), within 30 days of withdrawing or receiving a determination of a summary review pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 41344.1. At the time the local educational agency is notified, the Controller also shall be notified of the plan. The plan shall be established in accordance with the following:
(1) The Controller shall withhold the disallowed or penalty amount at the next principal apportionment or pursuant to paragraph (2), unless subdivision (d) of this section or subdivision (d) of Section 41344.1 applies, in which case the disallowed or penalty amount shall be withheld, at the next principal apportionment or pursuant to paragraph (2) following the determination regarding the appeal or summary appeal. In calculating a disallowed amount, the Controller shall determine the total amount of overpayment received by the local educational agency on the basis of average daily attendance, or other data, reported by the local educational agency that did not comply with one or more statutory or regulatory requirements that are conditions of apportionment.
(2) If the Superintendent and the Director of Finance concur that repayment of the full liability or payment of the penalty in the current fiscal year would constitute a severe financial hardship for the local educational agency, they may approve a plan of equal annual payments over a period of up to eight years. The plan shall include interest on each year's outstanding balance at the rate earned on the state's Pooled Money Investment Account during that year. The Superintendent and the Director of Finance jointly shall establish this plan. The Controller shall withhold amounts pursuant to the plan.
(3) If the Superintendent and the Director of Finance do not jointly establish a plan, the Controller shall withhold the entire disallowed amount determined pursuant to paragraph (1), or the penalty amount, at the next principal apportionment.
(b) (1) For purposes of computing average daily attendance pursuant to Section 42238.05, a local educational agency's prior fiscal year average daily attendance shall be reduced by an amount equal to any average daily attendance disallowed in the current year, by an audit or review, as defined in subdivision (e).
(2) Commencing with the 1999-2000 fiscal year, this subdivision may not result in a local educational agency repaying more than the value of the average daily attendance disallowed in the audit exception plus interest and other penalties or reductions in apportionments as provided by existing law.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, this section may not be waived under any authority set forth in this code except as provided in this section or Section 41344.1.
(d) Within 60 days of the date on which a local educational agency receives a final audit report resulting from an audit or review of all or any part of the operations of the local educational agency, or within 30 days of receiving a determination of a summary review pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 41344.1, a local educational agency may appeal a finding contained in the final report, pursuant to Section 41344.1. Within 90 days of the date on which the appeal is received by the panel, a hearing shall be held at which the local educational agency may present evidence or arguments if the local educational agency believes that the final report contains any finding that was based on errors of fact or interpretation of law, or if the local educational agency believes in good faith that it was in substantial compliance with all legal requirements. A repayment schedule may not commence until the panel reaches a determination regarding the appeal. If the panel determines that the local educational agency is correct in its assertion, in whole or in part, the allowable portion of any apportionment payment that was withheld shall be paid at the next principal apportionment.
(e) (1) As used in this section, "audit or review" means an audit conducted by the Controller's office, an annual audit conducted by a certified public accountant or a public accounting firm pursuant to Section 41020, and an audit or review conducted by a governmental agency that provided the local educational agency with an opportunity to provide a written response.
(2) As used in this section, "local educational agency" includes a charter school.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 19, Sec. 39.)