Inter-District Transfer Appeals

Inter-Distrct Transfer Appeals

One of the duties and responsibilities of the Santa Cruz County Board of Education is to hear and rule on inter-district transfer appeals. Appeals are filed by a student’s parent or legal guardian after either the district of residence or the district of desired attendance has denied an inter-district transfer request.

Parents may request an appeal hearing within thirty (30) calendar days after their request for inter-district attendance has been denied by the district of residence or by the desired district of attendance, AND they have exhausted the appeal process of the denying district.

When is an inter-district Transfer needed?

Inter-district transfer forms are completed when parents or legal guardians wish to have their student attend a school that is outside their resident school district. Inter-district Transfer forms can be found on the school district website.

Both the school district of residence and the school district of desired attendance need to approve the request.

Requesting an appeal hearing

There are several important steps that must be followed.

Step 1

You must first request an inter-district transfer form from your current school district.

Please contact your school district for the form.

If your request is denied, you can appeal that decision but you must follow the appeals process of whichever district has denied your request. You must exhaust all requests prior to submitting an appeal to the Santa Cruz County Board of Education.

Step 2

If you do not get the result you want at the district level, you may submit an appeal to the Santa Cruz County Board of Education.

If your appeal has been denied at the district level, then you can request an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Santa Cruz County Board of Education.

You must request an appeal hearing within thirty (30) calendar days of when your inter-district transfer request was denied by the school district. Failure to appeal within the required time will result in denial of your appeal.

Step 3

Filing an Appeal and Requesting a Hearing

The appeal process begins with completing and filing the form called: “Appeal of Denial of Inter-district Attendance.” The form can be found here.

You may email the form to Verenise Valentin, deliver the form in person, or mailing it to the following address:

Santa Cruz County Board of Education
Attn: Verenise Valentin
400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

The form must be completed, signed, and returned within thirty calendar days of the district denial. Complete all sections of the form legibly.

Your completed appeal form should be accompanied by:

  1. A copy of your original request for an inter-district attendance agreement
  2. The district’s denial if there was one
  3. Any other supporting documentation you want the County Board to consider.

Step 4

County Superintendent Will Verify Information

After receiving your appeal request, the County Superintendent’s office will review it and seek to verify certain information before a hearing date is scheduled.

The County Superintendent’s office will also check to see if you have exhausted all appeal processes in the local school districts. If you have not used the local appeal channels you will be asked to complete the local appeal process before going forward.

Step 5

Setting a Hearing Date

If the written appeal is complete and appropriately filed with the County Board of Education, the County Superintendent will place the matter on the County Board of Education’s agenda for a regular or special meeting to be held no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the effective date of the appeal. The County Board may extend this thirty (30) day period an additional five (5) calendar days for good cause.

The County Superintendent has discretion to approve a request for postponement filed by you or by the school district for good cause provided the request is filed in writing at least five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing date, except in an emergency. A postponement by the person who filed the appeal extends the time line for the County Board of Education to make a decision.

Families with multiple appeals may have the appeals heard separately or as one. If you have all the appeals heard as one, there will be a separate vote on each child.

If you require translation into a language other than English, please notify the County Superintendent’s office at 466-5900 at least 48 hours prior to the time of the hearing.

Step 6

Preparing for Your Hearing

Adequate documentation is helpful when presenting your case. You will find that evidence is most effective when it is provided in writing, related to the issue(s) at hand, and is the type of evidence upon which reasonable persons can rely in the conduct of serious affairs. Some examples of documentary evidence include:

  1. A copy of your original request for an inter-district attendance permit or agreement and any written denial(s) (if not already provided with your appeal form).
  2. Documents to support your request for an inter-district transfer. For example, when you review the factors that the County Board will consider, you will see that certain documents may support your position. Those documents could be professional recommendations by doctors, educators, psychologists, or others. Verifications of participation or non-availability of child care providers, transportation providers, teachers, or others could be helpful. Brochures or written information about special programs in the school district or community of requested attendance may be supportive evidence.

The County Board will rely on the written information that you and the school districts provide before the hearing, as well as the verbal presentation that is made at the hearing. You should be prepared to make a brief verbal presentation which focuses on the factors that the County Board will consider in deciding an appeal. You may bring witnesses or someone who might make a special statement on behalf of the pupil. Please make sure any witnesses are prepared to make a brief presentation.
Although the hearing is informal, you may bring legal counsel or a legal advocate. The use of any legal counsel will be at your expense.

Step 7

The Appeal Hearing

Hearings are conducted during regular or special County Board meetings held at the:

Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz CA

Both the parent and the school district will be sent notice of the hearing date. The notice will specify the date, time, and place of the hearing.

It is the intent of the County Board to conduct the hearing in a fair and sufficiently informal manner to encourage open communication and understanding of the system. The hearing will also be conducted in such a manner that no special legal expertise is necessary and so that all parties have the opportunity to present their case fairly and completely. The law provides that you may have legal counsel or an advocate present if you wish. A record of the hearing will be made.

During your appeal hearing, you, the pupil (optional), and the representatives of the districts, will take seats in front of the County Board. The County Board will consider the appeal in open session. In order to prevent disclosure of the confidentiality of the student’s record information, the hearing may be conducted in closed session, upon request.

The hearing will be conducted as follows:

  1. Four (4) members of the County Board must be present for a quorum to conduct the hearing.
  2. After introduction of all parties, the Board President or designee, who will conduct the hearing, will explain the procedures to be followed during the hearing. All discussion shall be directed to the Board President or other County Board member in response to an inquiry.
  3. The pupil, the parent or guardian, and/or a representative of the pupil will present the reasons for applying for an inter-district transfer agreement to the district of desired attendance and other actions, if any, taken by the respective school districts. The speaker will have a specified amount of time (normally five (5) minutes) to summarize his/her position.
  4. A representative of the district that rejected the transfer will be given an opportunity to explain the reason(s) for the action(s) taken by that district (normally five (5) minutes).
  5. You will be given additional time to present any rebuttal information to the information presented by the school district(s) and give any closing remarks. Each district will also have additional time for closing and/or response.
  6. Members of the County Board may ask questions to clarify the issues. The County Board may also ask questions of the staff.
  7. Deliberation and Decision: Following the closing of the hearing, the County Board will deliberate and render a decision.

The decision by the County Board of Education may only be to:

  1. Approve the appeal,
  2. Deny the appeal, or
  3. Remand (send) the case back to the district for reconsideration in the event new evidence is presented at the hearing that was not revealed previously. 

If you have questions on the process and completing the form, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at (831) 466-5900 or email Verenise Valentin, Assistant to the Superintendent.

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