Classified School Employee Summer Assistance
Program Toolkit for K-12 classified
The Classified School Employee Summer Assistance program allows classified employees in K-12 districts to withhold up to 10 percent of their monthly salary during the school year, and receive that money — matched by the state up to a dollar for dollar — in one or two payments during the summer.
Who is eligible to participate?
First, your district must choose to participate in the program. If your district is participating, classified employees must be employed by the district for at least one year prior to electing to have funds withheld. The employee must work 11 months or fewer out of a 12-month period, and earn no more than $62,400 per school year.
Funds are available!
In June 2020, the Legislature appropriated $60 million in one-time funds to the California Dept. of Education to fund the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program. The funds will be available through June 30, 2024.
How do you get your district to participate?
If your local union wants your district to participate in the program, it is important to advocate for that with district administrators during the fall. Locals are not required to bargain over the district’s participation, but should use any leverage necessary to urge the district to participate. The district must notify employees of its participation in the program by January 1, 2022.
NEW! Changes related to COVID-19
There are two significant changes related to the pandemic contained in AB 130, the 2021 omnibus education budget trailer bill.
- The eligibility language changed from “fewer than 11 months” to “11 months or fewer” out of a 12-month period.
- For the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 school years, the employing district shall exclude any hours worked by the classified employee as a result of an extension of the academic school year directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, if the hours are in addition to the employee’s regular assignment and would prevent the employee from being eligible for this program.
Find more info about the changes in the downloadable FAQ below.
Interested in this program? Let CFT know by completing this quick form.
|Jan. 1, 2022||Participating districts to inform staff about program|
|March 1, 2022||Deadline for eligible employees to enroll in program|
|April 1, 2022||Districts to tell state they will participate and how many employees have enrolled|
|May 1, 2022||State to inform districts how much the match will be|
|June 1, 2022||District to inform employees how much the state match will be|
|During school year 2022-23||The district withholds the amount specified by the employee|
|By July 31, 2023||The district requests payment from the CDE|
|During summer recess 2023||The district pays the participant the amount withheld from their checks plus the state match in one or two payments in accordance with the payment plan the employee selects.|
“It would be ludicrous for me not to participate. Where else can I set aside $200 a month for 11 months and make a 100 percent return on my investment?”
— Bernard Benson
A single-page flyer with program overview for local unions and members
A more detailed set of questions and answers as a download
NEW! Includes program changes due to COVID-19
- Read our story in the CFT Newsroom about how classified employees in AFT local unions are benefitting from this program
- Read our story about the CFT’s earlier efforts to win unemployment benefits for classified employees that led to the Summer Assistance Program
- California Department of Education has the definitive program information
- California Education Code Section 45500 established the Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program
- The California Legislature allocated $50 million to this program for the 2018-19 school year. In 2019-20 it allocated an additional $36 million. In June 2020, the Legislature appropriated $60 million in one-time funds that will be available for the program through June 30, 2024.