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Appeals to the Board

While most school district decisions cannot be appealed to a county board of education, California Education Code does authorize a county board of education to hear the appeal of a student who has been expelled from their school district or whose request for transfer to another school district has been denied.


Interdistrict Transfer Appeals

California Education Code (EC) sections 46600-46610 describe the interdistrict transfer process, with EC 46601 providing the opportunity for a parent/guardian “to appeal a school district’s decision regarding a request for interdistrict transfer, within 30 calendar days of the date of the school district’s final denial, to the county board of education.

Because the same law requires that the designee of the county superintendent of schools “investigate to determine whether local remedies in the matter have been exhausted and to provide any additional information deemed useful to the county board of education in reaching a decision,” please contact to arrange to discuss your case prior to submitting a request for appeal. We also recommend that you review these instructions for requesting an interdistrict transfer appeal.


Expulsion Appeals

An appeal before the county board of education is not a rehearing, but rather a procedural review of the transcripts of the hearing conducted by the expelling district to determine if all concerned have received a fair hearing.

California Education Code sections (EC) 48919 – 48924 describe the authority of the county board of education to hear appeals on the expulsion of a student from their school district, and on the scope and process used to decide the appeal. Per EC 48919, the pupil/parent/guardian has the right to file a request to appeal an expulsion from a local school district within 30 calendar days after the school district governing board’s action to expel the pupil. If more than 30 calendar days have passed since the date of the expulsion, the San Diego County Board of Education does not have jurisdiction to accept the request for an appeal.

In some cases, a district governing board may suspend the enforcement of an expulsion order allowing the pupil to return to school under certain conditions; however, the 30 calendar-day time limitation still applies, even though the expulsion order is suspended, and the pupil may be attending school.

An appeal may be made when the pupil/parent/guardian believes that one or more of the required procedural conditions for the expulsion hearing have been violated. A detailed account of procedural violations that may be reviewed by the county board of education can be found in the “Scope of Review by County Board,” section of the San Diego County Office of Education Board Policy 5144.

Before submitting a request for an appeal hearing we recommend that you review these instructions for requesting an appeal hearing on an expulsion, and that you contact our staff at to discuss your case.


Complaints Regarding School Districts and Charter Schools

Under California law, school districts and charter schools are independent governmental entities that are governed by their locally elected school boards. With the exception of interdistrict transfer and expulsion appeals, which are specifically authorized in Education Code, the operational decisions and policies school districts and charter schools make regarding their students do not fall within the jurisdiction of the county superintendent or County Board of Education.

California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 4600-4687 require all public schools to use Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) to investigate and respond to complaints related to unlawful discrimination, and the violation of specific federal and state programs that use categorical funds. A description of the UCP and list of topics it may be used for is available on the California Department of Education’s Uniform Complaint Procedures webpage. Each district’s and charter school’s local policies and procedures for the UCP are available in their governing board policies and administrative regulations.

UCP complaints are filed with the district superintendent or their designee. If after using the school district’s or charter school’s UCP, the complainant does not agree with the district’s actions to resolve the complaint, they may request a review by the California Department of Education.