Staffing Shortages and J-13A Requests

According to California Department of Public Health, “temporary school closure due to COVID-19 should be a last resort and considered only after all available resources have been exhausted in an attempt to preserve in-person education. In such a circumstance, continuity of instruction for students will be critical. For information regarding provision of independent study, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) website. Temporary school closures should be considered only after conferring with local health officials. There is no specific case threshold at which the State recommends an immediate temporary closure of a classroom or school. Instead, the process should be guided by local epidemiology, with particular attention paid to concern for in-school transmission. Operational factors may also be considered, including the ability to maintain sufficient teaching staff to provide in-person instruction.”

On Jan. 12, 2022, the state superintendent of public instruction released a letter regarding COVID-19-related staffing shortages. The letter includes a reminder that a local educational agency (LEA) must consult with the CDE and county office of education prior to their submission of the Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions Form J-13A.
 

Assembly Bill 167 made changes to the conditions for which LEAs may file a Form J-13A request for allowance of attendance due to an emergency, including for COVID-19-related staffing shortages. The California Department of Education (CDE) has released answers to frequently asked questions on this topic, including:

Are there exceptions that would allow an LEA to file a Form J-13A request for a COVID-19-related closure due to LEA staffing shortages?

School closures due to COVID-19 related staffing shortages occurring during the time period of Sept. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 are qualifying events with additional conditions, for which Form J-13A requests may be submitted. The additional conditions for a Form J-13A request for COVID-19 related staffing shortages are as follows:

  • The LEA is unable to provide in-person instruction to students due to staffing shortages as a result of staff quarantine due to exposure to, or infection with, COVID-19 pursuant to local or state public health guidance.
  • For certificated staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all certificated staff and substitute teacher options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the CDE in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.
  • For classified staff shortages, the LEA has exhausted all options for obtaining staff coverage, including using all staff options, and has consulted with their county office of education and the CDE in determining that staffing needs cannot be met through any option.

The consultation with the LEA’s county office of education and the CDE should factor in to the LEA’s decision to close school and be done prior to the LEA’s final decision to close. The Form J-13A request and all required documentation should be submitted after the closure is over so that the LEA can determine the exact number of school closure days for the request.

Questions regarding the CDE consultation process may be directed to staffshortageconsultation@cde.ca.gov. Questions related to the requirements for the Form J-13A may be directed to ATTENDANCEACCOUNTING@cde.ca.gov.

 

Process for consultation with SDCOE

 

School districts: Please complete this J-13A Addendum for COVID-19-related staffing shortages and email it to your business advisor. We will contact you to discuss the circumstances relating to the need for school closure.

Charter schools: Please complete this form and email it to charters@sdcoe.net. The Charter School Services team will be in contact with you to discuss the circumstances relating to the need for school closure.

 

Process for consultation with CDE

 

Please complete this form to schedule a staff shortage consultation with CDE. For questions about consultation with the CDE, please email staffshortageconsultation@cde.ca.gov.

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